I am an American and applied for a UK visa 15 months ago through UK Global Visa Services and finally realized it was a scam and I never was going to get a visa through them. So what is the best way to get one? I am retired and just want to spend the rest of my life in the UK where I lived for 12 years. I'm not looking for any government assistance, I just want to live there permanently.

  • 2
    There's no retiree visa so: work, family, ancestry (parent or grandparent), or investor.
    – mkennedy
    Dec 19, 2023 at 3:18
  • Hen did you live there for 12 years, and in what conditions (visa, permit, work…)?
    – jcaron
    Dec 19, 2023 at 7:37
  • @jcaron, I was in the military and civil service so each tour had an expiration date but now I am retired and looking to move there and spend rest of my life
    – Tom
    Dec 21, 2023 at 0:53
  • Unfortunately the UK has explicitly adopted a "hostile environment" policy toward unauthorized immigration, and the Tories, who have been in power for the last several years, have a core policy of limiting authorized immigration. This was a prime selling point of the Brexit campaign to leave the EU, yet they have not at all achieved this goal, a trending topic in the press in recent days. In this environment, immigration fees run into the tens of thousands of pounds, and it should not be too surprising that there's no retiree visa. Frequent visits are likely as close as you'll get, I'm afraid.
    – phoog
    Dec 24, 2023 at 11:57
  • On second thought, if you have any connection to Ireland or even any other EU country, you could live in the UK by obtaining Irish nationality, but that could take many years, especially if you don't already have such a connection. For example, you could take a retiree visa in France or Spain, live there for long enough to naturalize, move to Ireland, live there for a while and naturalize there, and then you would have unrestricted right of abode in the UK.
    – phoog
    Dec 24, 2023 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


You can apply for all kinds of visas direct to the UK government. You will need to do some research into what kind of visa you need. If you got and still have "indefinite leave to remain" in the UK from your previous time then you may be eligible for a Returning Resident Visa.

If you need help with the application you can use a Registered Immigration Advisor.

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