If you’re currently in the UK on a student or dependant visa and you want to stay for a longer period of time, you may be interested in switching to a Skilled Worker visa. A Skilled Worker visa is designed for individuals who have a job offer from a UK employer that is an approved sponsor, and who have the necessary skills, qualifications, and experience to perform the job.
In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps you need to take to switch from a student or dependant visa to a Skilled Worker visa.
Step 1: Check Your Eligibility
The first step in switching from a student or dependant visa to a Skilled Worker visa is to check if you are eligible. To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
- You have a job offer from a UK employer who is an approved sponsor
- You have the necessary skills, qualifications, and experience to perform the job
- You can speak, read, and write English to a required standard
- You are being paid at or above the minimum salary threshold for your job
- If you meet these requirements, you can proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Apply for the Skilled Worker Visa
The second step is to apply for a Skilled Worker visa. You can apply online using the UK government’s visa application service. The application process involves the following steps:
- Create an account on the UK visa application service website
- Complete the online application form and provide the necessary information
- Pay the application fee and the healthcare surcharge
- Book an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) center to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and photograph)
You will also need to provide the following documents:
- Your current passport or travel document
- Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), if you have one
- Your job offer letter from your UK employer
- Evidence of your English language ability
- Evidence of your finances
Once you have submitted your application and attended your biometric appointment, you will need to wait for a decision on your visa application.
Step 3: Wait for a Decision on Your Visa Application
The third step is to wait for a decision on your visa application. The length of time it takes to process your application depends on a range of factors, such as the volume of applications being processed at the time and the complexity of your case. You can check the current processing times on the UK government’s website.
Step 4: Switch to Your Skilled Worker Visa
The fourth and final step is to switch to your Skilled Worker visa. You must switch to your Skilled Worker visa before your current visa expires. To switch to your Skilled Worker visa, you will need to:
- Stop studying or being dependent on your current visa
- Start working for your new employer
- Inform your current employer and university or college that you are leaving your studies or job
- Inform the Home Office of your change of circumstances
- Once you have made the switch, you can start enjoying the benefits of being on a Skilled Workers visa, such as the ability to work for any UK employer that is an approved sponsor and the opportunity to apply for settlement in the UK.
In conclusion, switching from a student or dependant visa to a Skilled Worker visa requires careful planning and preparation. By following the steps outlined in this post, you can make the switch smoothly and start building your career in the United Kingdom.