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How to Convert Dependant Visa to Work Permit In the UK

If you currently hold a UK dependant visa, you may be able to switch to a work permit or work visa in the UK if you meet the relevant eligibility criteria. The UK offers a range of work visas, including the Skilled Worker visa, Health and Care Worker visa, Scale up visa, Minister of Religion visa, International Sportsperson visa, and High Potential Individual visa (HPI); hence there are plenty to choose from.

Requirements for switching from a dependant visa to a work visa

If you are considering switching from a dependant visa to a work visa in the UK, you will need to meet the specific eligibility criteria for the visa you are interested in. For example, for the most popular work visa, the Skilled Worker visa, you must:

  • Have a job offer for an eligible role1 from a UK employer with a sponsorship licence2 (i.e. they have permission to employ foreign workers in UK)
  • Meet the minimum salary requirements3 – a salary of £25,600 per year, £10.10 per hour, or the ‘going rate’4 for your occupation. The salary requirement may be lower if you:
    • Have a job on the UK shortage occupation list
    • Are aged under 26
    • Are studying or a recent graduate
    • Are in professional training
    • Have a PhD in a STEM subject
    • Have a postdoctoral role in science or higher education
  • Meet the English language requirements5 – this can be met in a number of ways, including passing an English language exam at level CEFR B1 or above, having a degree taught in English, or if you come from a country whose citizens are exempt from this requirement.

How to switch from a dependant visa to a work visa

To switch from a dependant visa to a work visa from within the UK, it is important that you do so while your current visa is still valid. To apply, you will need to complete the following steps (this is based on the example of the Skilled Worker visa):

  1. Gain employment in the UK and secure a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer.
  2. Complete and submit the online application form (you must use the correct form that is specifically for applicants in the UK).
  3. Pay the required application fee and immigration healthcare surcharge (if applicable).
  4. Book and attend a biometric appointment at your nearest UKVCAS service point – to have your photo taken and fingerprints scanned for your biometric residence permit.
  5. Upload any documents requested by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to support your application.

Once you have completed the necessary steps, you can expect to receive a decision within 8 weeks. If you wish to pay for a faster decision, you may be able to use the super priority service for a fee of £800 to receive a decision on the next working day.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards is a leading immigration law firm based in central London. Our immigration lawyers specialise in UK Work Visa applications and advise the best route based on your individual circumstance, we can help you with:

References:

1 GOV.UK: Eligible occupations

2 GOV.UK: Register of licensed sponsor workers

3 GOV.UK: Salary requirements

4 GOV.UK: Going rates for occupations

5 GOV.UK: Knowledge of English

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