The United Kingdom, with its impressive high standard quality living, better education, and health facilities, and immense potential in financial investment services attract aspiring entrepreneurs, students, and others. Many people from all over the world move to the UK every year. If you wish to know about the migration processes and citizenship, here’s a guide for you:

The THREE Essentials

  • Visa
  • Bank Account
  • National Insurance Number

Getting a Visa

Getting a visa is fundamental for migrating to the UK for any purpose. However, people with a European Union (EU) Passport need not apply for a visa. There are various categories of visas. Applicants need to choose the right category according to their purpose of migration.

Opening A Bank Account

A bank account is required for various purposes while residing in the UK. For opening a bank account, a person needs to prove their identity and submit proof of their residential address. This task may not be as easy as it sounds. Getting the identification documents required to open an account is challenging for a person who recently moved to the UK, as they may not have lease agreements or utility bills. Even after providing all these documents, banks may provide only a basic form of the bank account.

Each bank has its set of acceptable and required documents. Here, a general list of relevant documents required for opening a bank account is listed:

For proving identity:

  • A passport;
  • A letter of employment

For proving address:

  • Bank or credit card statement within the last three months;
  • Letter from university confirming the concerned persons UK address;
  • Letter from the employer confirming the employee’s UK address;
  • Recent household utility bills etc.

Getting A National Insurance (NI) Number

National Insurance Number is a unique personal account number, which remains unchanged throughout life. It is provided to make sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax paid by any person are properly recorded against their name. It also provides a unique identity while communicating with the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Thus, it is very important to have an NI number while working in the UK.

A person can apply for a National Insurance number if they live in the UK and have the right to work in the UK.

There are two ways to apply for a National Insurance number.

  1. Direct Application – You can get it yourself. For this, if you are in the UK, you are required to make an appointment for an Evidence of Identity (EOI) interview. You need to submit proof of identity, past work, and travel details, and proof of the duration of stay in the UK.
  2. Online Services: If you are unable to apply directly and go through the procedures, you can opt for online services.

Required Documents:

The following documents can be used for applying for the NI number:

  • A passport from any country;
  • A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)


Let us take a look at the various categories of visas.

  • If you are a student:
  1. Standard Visitor Visa – This is for doing a short course of study that lasts no longer than 6 months.
  2. Short-term Study Visa – This is to study an English language course that is over 6 months and up to 11 months.
  3. Student Visa – This is for a longer course. The applicant must be sponsored by a licensed college or university and have a confirmed place. This visa also allows the applicant to work while studying
  4. Child Student Visa – This category is for students of the 4-to-17-year age category. They can apply if they wish to study at an independent school. Applicants who are 16 or above can do some work under this visa category.
  • If you are an aspiring entrepreneur:
  1. Start-Up Visa – This visa is for entrepreneurs with approved business ideas to move to the UK. Aspiring entrepreneurs can apply for this category without huge funds upfront.
  2. Innovator Visa – This visa category is for those who wish to start an innovative business in the UK. Your business idea should be original, novel, and different from already functional businesses. Your business or business idea needs to be endorsed by an approved endorsing body.
  • For Visiting
  1. Standard Visitor Visa – This category is
    • for a holiday or
    • to see family and friends
    • for a business trip or meeting
    • to do a short course of study
  2. Marriage Visitor Visa

These are some of the most frequently applied categories. There are numerous other categories and applicants have to choose carefully from them. Applying for the wrong category can lead to rejection.

These are the general requirements for migrating to the UK. After residing in the UK, if a person wishes to apply for citizenship, they need to go through different procedures depending on eligibility.  Applicants should be careful about each step of visa application and the follow-up procedures. Applying for permanent settlement and eventually for citizenship also can be a tedious process. An expert consultancy firm can guide you through these easily.