Switching from Dependant Visa to Skilled Worker/Tier 2 Visa

Switching from Dependant Visa to Skilled Worker/Tier 2 Visa

Switching from a dependant visa UK to a Skilled Worker visa allows you to live and work in the UK as an individual. If your dependant visa’s main visa holder leaves the UK or you stop living with them, you can stay with your immigration clearance.

Within the UK, dependant visa holders who meet the requirements for a Skilled Worker visa can apply to change their visa status to a Tier 2 visa or switch visas before their current visa expires. This applies whether you have a PBS, Tier 2 / Skilled worker, Tier 4 Student, Innovator, Scale-up, HPI, or Global Talent dependent visa. Dependant visa holders must rely on their partners or parents to maintain their immigration status.

For up to five years, a Skilled Worker visa holder can live, work, study, and travel freely in and out of the UK. After 5 years in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa, you can apply for indefinite permission to remain (ILR) to settle. After 12 months, you can seek British citizenship.

Can I Switch from a Dependant Visa to a Skilled Worker or Tier 2 Visa?

If you have any of the following types of UK visas, you can switch from a Dependant Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa:

  • Point-Based System
  • Dependant Visa
  • Student Dependent Visa (used to be called Tier 4 Visa)
  • Skilled Worker Dependant Visa (used to be called Tier 2 Visa)
  • Dependant Visa for Innovators
  • Scale up Dependant Visa
  • Dependent Visa for High Potential Individuals (HPI)
  • Global Talent Dependant Visa

If you switch to the Skilled Worker Visa, you can live and work in the UK without the main visa holder you currently depend on. This means you can stay in the UK and keep your independent Skilled Worker status. Even if the main visa holder goes or your situation changes and you can’t live together anymore.

Dependant Visa UK to Skilled Worker/Tier 2 Visa Requirements 2024

You have to satisfy the following requirements to switch from a Dependant Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa:

  • An approved employer’s job offer.
  • Get a Sponsorship Certificate.
  • The base salary for the job must be at least £38,700 per year, £10.75 an hour. Or the going rate for the job, whichever is higher.
  • Please ensure that you meet the English language requirement by providing evidence of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding at a level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Scale or an equivalent certification. Some medical workers don’t have to follow this rule either.

Fulfil the English language requirements.

  • Job specifications
  • Before seeking to switch from a dependent visa to a skilled worker visa, you must obtain a job offer in an appropriate occupation1 from a licenced sponsor2. You must also have the necessary qualifications and professional accreditation to fulfil the work you have been offered.

Minimum Salary Criteria

You must demonstrate that you satisfy the Skilled Worker visa minimum income criterion of at least £38,700 per year or the ‘going rate for your employment (whichever is higher). 

You may only be required to reach a lower salary criterion if:

  • Have a position on the immigration salary list.
  • Under the age of 26, currently enrolled in school, just graduated, or undergoing some kind of professional training
  • Furthermore, requirements for this position include a Ph.D. in STEM and proficiency in English.

English Language Requirements

Applicants for Skilled Worker visas must meet English language proficiency standards. You can fulfil this criterion in a variety of ways, including:

  • By being from an eligible English-speaking country.
  • Having a reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension level of B1 on the CEFR scale—the highest possible mark on an official English language test…
  • Moreover, having completed a degree program that relied on English for instruction or research.

Which Documents are Required for Switching Dependant Visa UK to Skilled Worker Visa?

After providing the following documents, you may switch your current dependant visa to a skilled worker visa:

  • A passport or other valid travel document
  • Proof that you can speak and write English
  • To get a Certificate of Sponsorship from your company in the UK, you will need to show:
    • Your name, job title, and year-end pay
    • The industry code for your job
    • Name of your boss and Sponsor Licence Number
  • Bank records that show you have at least £1,270 in your account are proof that you have enough money to live on. If you’ve lived in the UK for a year or more or if your boss plans to pay for it.
  • Proof of a genuine relationship with your dependents (spouse or kids, if they’re applying with you)
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test results if you live in a place that needs them
  • Moreover, no crime history at all
  • If the job requires research on a sensitive topic, you must have a valid ATAS certificate. Also, you must provide your PhD certificate or Ecctis reference number.

UK immigration solicitors have helped many immigrants obtain the necessary documentation for their visa applications. Call us at 0203 384 4389 to speak to our lawyer about your case.

How to Switch from a Dependant Visa UK to a Skilled Worker / Tier2 Visa?

From inside the UK, you must take these steps to switch from a dependent visa to a skilled worker visa:

  • Fill out the Skilled Worker visa application form and send it in.
  • Individuals must pay an entry fee of £719 (for a maximum of three years) or £1,423 (for over three years).
  • Spend extra money on health care (this lets you get medical care in the UK).
  • You will need to make an appointment and show up at the UKVCAS service point closest to you to have your picture taken and fingerprints scanned.
  • Upload any files that the Home Office asks for.

If you apply for a Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK, it can take up to 8 weeks to get a response. You might be able to pay more to get a result faster if you are qualified. It costs £500 for the priority processing service, which gives you an answer in 5 business days. Moreover, the super-priority processing service costs £1000 and gets you an answer in one business day.

What’s the Processing Time?

The Skilled Worker Visa can take up to three weeks to process. However, the time it takes to handle a visa switch can be longer than expected. This can happen if your application is missing papers or information if you need to go to an appointment, or if you have been caught breaking immigration laws in the past.

You might be able to get a faster answer on your Skilled Worker Visa application if you pay an extra £500 for the “priority service.” This is in addition to the application fee. If you choose the priority service, you should hear back about your visa within 5 business days of your meeting. The priority service may take longer than 5 days if the Home Office needs to look into your case further or needs more papers or information.

You might also be able to use the “super priority service,” which costs an extra £1,000 on top of the visa fee but guarantees that your application will be processed even faster. With the super priority service, your application can be decided on by the end of the next business day after your meeting, as long as the Home Office doesn’t need any more paperwork or details.

Please keep in mind that paying to get your visa faster will not change the result of your application. If you want your Skilled Worker Visa application to be successful, you need to show that you are eligible. Contact UK Immigration Solicitors to have your case looked at and get professional help to make sure your entry has the best chance of success. Simply call 0203 384 4389 to talk to one of our visa experts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Is it possible for a student dependant to switch their visa to a skilled worker visa?

Ans. Yes. If you meet the requirements, you can change your visa from a Student Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa. That is, you must either have finished the course for which the Confirmation of Acceptance was issued. Or the course is still going on and you won’t be able to start the job until the course ends. You can also switch to the Skilled Worker Visa if you are a PhD student, and have a history of following immigration rules. Your job offer will begin at least 24 months after the start of your study.

Additionally, you can’t apply to become a Skilled Worker from inside the UK if you have a Short-Term Student Visa, though. You have to leave the UK and then seek a Skilled Worker Visa if you meet the requirements.

Q2: What’s the Skilled Worker Dependant visa duration?

Ans. You can only stay in the country as long as the main Skilled Worker Visa holder is still valid if you are depending on them. Your dependent visa is valid for 3 years if the main visa holder’s is. You can only stay in the UK for as long as your main Skilled Worker Visa is valid. However, the main visa holder might be able to get their visa extended, which would make your dependent visa valid for the same amount of time.

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