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How To Convert Dependent Visa To Work Permit In UK

If you are looking for more independence working and residing in the UK long-term, it is important to have a coherent understanding of the eligibility requirements to switch to a work permit as well as the process of how to do so.

For professional legal assistance regarding switching visas, contact the Immigration Advice Service today online or by phone at 0333 305 9375 if you are in the UK or +23413438882 if you are in Nigeria.

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Want To Work In The UK?

We’ve provided assistance to many individuals who desired to convert their dependent visa to a work permit in order to stay and work in the UK longterm with extra independence.
If you are looking to reside in the UK and your current visa does not accommodate your future plans regarding your career, get in touch with us for comprehensive support and legal assistance in the process of switching or gaining the right visa for your situation.


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Can a Dependent Visa be Converted to a Work Permit in the UK?

A dependent visa is a category of visas which allows the holder to join a family member as a dependent that has been issued a primary visa.

As an individual in the UK on a dependent visa, your family member will be considered your sponsor, and you are both bound to the eligibility of your respective visas to continue being in the UK.

However, you may wish to apply to switch to a different visa in the UK for a number of reasons, such as not wanting your stay in the UK to be tied to your family member and to achieve a greater sense of independence.

Due to this, it is possible in the UK to switch from a dependent visa to another visa, such as a work visa.

However, you must ensure that you meet all of the eligibility criteria of your new visa when switching to it, as well as ensuring you are aware of all of the responsibilities of your new visa you must adhere to to allow your continued stay in the UK.

What Are the Requirements for Switching from a Dependent Visa to a Work Visa?

The most important requirement when switching from a dependent visa to a work visa in the UK is ensuring that you meet the requirements of your chosen work visa.

The specific requirements you must follow will vary based on the type of work visa. However, as a general rule, many work visas in the UK will require you to meet the following requirements. You may:

  • Have to have a job offer with an employer who is registered as a licenced sponsor in the UK
  • Have to ensure that the job meets a minimum salary threshold (for example, the minimum salary threshold when switching to a Skilled Worker visa is £38,700 per annum)
  • Have to meet minimum English language requirements, such as by taking a verified English language test
  • Have to show that you have enough money in the UK to support yourself

There may also be additional requirements you have to fulfil that are not listed here, depending on the type of work visa.

How Do I Switch from a Dependent Visa to a Work Visa?

In order to switch from a dependent visa to a work visa in the UK, you must apply for your new work visa online through the gov.uk website.

There, you will be asked to fill in online forms and provide your personal details about you and your circumstances.

You will also have to provide relevant supporting documents to prove that you are eligible for the work visa you are applying for. This will often include a certificate of sponsorship number.

You may have to attend an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.

It’s of utmost importance to ensure that you apply for your work visa in good time before your current dependent visa expires. If your dependent visa expires and you have not applied to extend it or have applied for a new type of visa, you may be considered to be violating UK immigration rules.

Call us today to learn more about the process of work permit in UK.

How Long Will It Take to Get a Decision?

Once you have submitted your online form and provided your supporting documents, it will normally take around 8 weeks for most UK work visa applications to be processed when applying from inside the UK. This includes applications for the Skilled Worker visa.

At the time of writing (April 2024), the only major exception to this rule is the Health and Care Worker visa, which takes approximately 3 weeks to be processed when applying from inside the UK.

If you require a faster processing time than this, you may be able to apply for a priority processing service, which will ensure that your application is processed within a week or faster. However, this will incur additional charges. Additionally, this service may not be available for all applications.

After You Apply for a Work Visa

Once your application is processed by the Home Office, you will receive a letter informing you that your work visa application has been approved or refused.

If your application is approved, you will be informed of the details of your new work visa. You will not need to take any additional steps to cancel your dependent visa when your new UK work visa is approved, and you will be able to proceed with any work arrangements you have made.

If your visa is refused, you will still be able to reside in the UK on your old dependent visa as long as you and your family member continue to meet the requirements. You will still be able to extend your dependent visa, if eligible. 

However, note that the refusal of a work visa may negatively impact any future visa applications you wish to undertake.

How Can IAS Help?

The application process can sometimes be a complicated process, with many complexities that should be properly navigated to ensure you are maximising your chances of successfully switching your dependent visa to a worker permit.

Immigration Advice Service is here with a team of professional and experienced immigration specialists ready to cover all the needs of your individual circumstances.

They will give you confident and direct advice as well as check over all the documents before you submit them to ensure there are no errors which may slow down the process of receiving a timely response regarding your application.

We can also assist you with visa refusals which you may need urgent help with as you only have 14 days after refusal in which to launch your appeal.

Contact IAS today for further guidance and assurance on your worker permit or appeal application online or by phone at 0333 305 9375.

Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our professional services.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You may be eligible to switch from a dependent visa to a Health and Care Worker visa allowing you to stay for up to 5 years at once in the UK.

The fee to apply for this visa is £551 for more than 3 years of stay or £284 for up to 3 years. A decision should come within 3 weeks.

You can potentially receive citizenship after initially being in the country on a dependent visa by first of all successfully switching to a worker permit such as a Skilled Worker visa, remaining in the country for at least 5 years which will allow you to apply for indefinite leave to remain. The amount of time you must stay in the country may vary depending on the visa type.

After a further 12 months, applying for British citizenship will be possible, though it is important to understand the further requirements and responsibilities before undergoing this process.

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