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How to Switch from Dependant Visa to Skilled Worker / Tier 2 Visa

How to Switch from Dependant Visa to Skilled Worker / Tier 2 Visa

Last update: 21 July 2023

If you currently hold a dependant visa, it is possible to switch to a Skilled Worker visa / Tier 2 visa from within the UK. This is the case whether you hold a PBS dependant visa, Tier 2 / Skilled worker dependant visa, Tier 4 Student dependant visa, an Innovator visa or Scale-up dependant visa, an HPI visa dependant visa, or a Global Talent dependant visa. As a dependant visa holder, you are currently reliant on the main visa holder (e.g. your partner or parent) to keep your immigration status.

However, by switching from a dependant visa to a Skilled Worker visa, you will have permission to live and work in the UK as an individual in your own right. This means that if the main visa holder on who your dependant visa is reliant leaves the UK or you no longer live with them, you can stay in the UK with your own immigration permission.

As a Skilled Worker visa holder, you will be able to live, work for your sponsoring UK employer, study, and travel freely from and to the UK for a period of up to 5 years. After 5 years of continuous residence in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), allowing you to settle in the UK. And after a further 12 months, you will be able to apply for British citizenship.

Dependant visa to skilled worker/tier 2 visa requirements

To switch from your current dependant visa to a Skilled Worker visa, you will need to meet all of the requirements for your new visa, as follows:

  • Have an offer of an eligible job from an employer with a UK sponsor licence
  • Meet the minimum salary requirements
  • Meet the English language requirements

Employment requirements

Before applying to switch from your dependant visa to a Skilled Worker visa, you must have an offer of a job in an eligible occupation1 from a licenced sponsor2. You must also have the qualifications and professional accreditation to perform the role you have been offered.

Minimum salary requirements

You will need to prove in your application to switch to a Skilled Worker visa that you will receive a salary of at least £26,200 or the ‘going rate’3 for your job (whichever is the higher amount). You may only need to meet a lower salary threshold of £20,960 if you:

  • Have a job is on a shortage occupation list
  • Are under the age of 26, studying or a recent graduate, or in professional training
  • A Ph.D. in a STEM subject

English language requirements

Skilled Worker visa applicants must meet the English language requirements. You can meet this requirement in a number of ways, including:

  • By coming from an eligible English-speaking country
  • Passing an approved English language test proving you can read, write, speak, and understand English to level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale
  • Holding a degree-level qualification that was taught or researched in English

How to switch from a dependant visa to a Skilled Worker / Tier2 visa

To switch from a dependant visa to a Skilled Worker visa from within the UK, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete and submit the Skilled Worker visa application form4
  2. Pay the application fee of £719 per person (for up to 3 years) or £1,423 per person (for more than 3 years)
  3. Pay the healthcare surcharge of £624 per year (this will allow you to receive healthcare in the UK)
  4. Book and attend an appointment at your nearest UKVCAS service point to have your photo taken and fingerprints scanned (these are referred to as your biometrics)
  5. Upload any documents requested by the Home Office

It typically takes up to 8 weeks to receive a decision on Skilled Worker visa applications made from within the UK. If you are eligible, you may be able to pay extra for a faster decision. The priority processing service provides a decision within 5 working days and costs £500. The super priority processing service provides a decision within 1 working day and costs £1,000.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards specialises in all types of UK work visas and can help you switch from your dependant visa to a Skilled Worker visa. Our immigration solicitors can:

  • Review your current circumstances and those of your family members and explain all of the immigration routes available.
  • Prepare and submit your Skilled Worker application on your behalf and handle any queries from UKVI on your behalf.
  • Prepare and submit your UK skilled worker visa renewal application.
  • Handle a Skilled Worker visa refusal

For assistance with switching from a dependant visa to a Skilled Worker visa, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation at 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk.


References

1 GOV.UK: Eligible occupations

2 GOV.UK: Registered sponsors

3 GOV.UK: Going rates

4 GOV.UK: Online application form

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Reiss Edwards provides professional services. The team is a world-class team wit...

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