Skilled Worker Visa to ILR
Are you currently in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa and looking for a route that will allow you to settle in the UK? If so, you may be able to switch from the Skilled Worker route to ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain).
You can extend your Skilled Worker Visa for a period of up to six years, provided you continue to work in a skilled role for a registered UK Sponsor. If you want to stay in the UK for a longer period, without being restricted by your Skilled Worker Visa regulations, you can apply for ILR after living in the UK for five years. If you are granted ILR, you will be given Permanent Residence in the UK without having to comply with specific Skilled Worker Visa regulations. This will mean that you will no longer need an employer with a Sponsorship Licence or to work in a position where there is a UK skills shortage.
While you can no longer switch from the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa to ILR, our expert lawyers may be able to help you apply for a Skilled Worker Visa to put you on the path to settlement.
Who is eligible to switch from the Skilled Worker route to ILR
To be eligible to switch from a Skilled Worker Visa to Indefinite Leave to Remain you must have at least 5 years of legal continuous residence in the UK. These 5 years can be solely whilst in the UK under a Skilled Worker Visa, but can also include time spent living in the UK under another visa category including:
- Global Talent
- T2 Minister of Religion
- T2 Sportsperson
- Representative of an Overseas Business
- Routes that were part of the old Tier 1 category, excluding the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa
There are also a number of other eligibility requirements that you will need to meet before you can apply. To move from the Skilled Worker route to ILR, you will need to pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test. This test will require you to show an understanding of British culture, history and current affairs. During the test you will have 45 minutes to answer 24 questions and you must score 75% or more to pass the test.
You will also have to meet the English Language requirement, to do this you may need to pass a certified English language test, unless you are eligible for an exemption of this requirement.
What is the process of switching from the Skilled Worker route to ILR?
Once you have reached this 5 year requirement, you can start the process of applying for ILR. You don’t need to wait for your Skilled Worker Visa to expire before you can apply, you can do so as soon as you have reached the residency requirement.
To apply for ILR you will need to submit the application form via the UK government website, applications can only be made online.
Once you have filled in the application form, you will also need to submit your supporting documents to the Home Office. As well as your test pass certificates, you will also need to provide:
- a current passport or other valid travel ID
- your biometric residence permit if you have one
- all the passports you’ve held during your time in the UK
Any documents not written in English or Welsh will need to be translated. You can submit your supporting documents by either uploading them into the online service or having them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment. When you apply, you’ll need to also make an appointment a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide your biometric information, this is your photograph and fingerprints.
Once your application and documents have been submitted, you should receive a decision from the Home Office within 6 months.
How can IAS help?
The immigration lawyers at IAS will help you with your switch from Skilled Worker to ILR. One of our expert lawyers can assist you with the transition, helping you to prepare for your ‘Life in the UK’ test and your English Language Test. Your lawyer will also prepare a Letter of Representation to accompany your application. This letter details your case and its merits as well as referencing any relevant UK immigration laws in support of your application. He/she will also provide a full document check, as well as completing your application form to the highest possible standard.
Call us today on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online for more advice. We have offices in London, Manchester, and Birmingham, as well as in many other locations throughout the UK. We look forward to assisting you.
Last modified on July 16th, 2023 at 9:28 pm
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You will be eligible to apply for ILR while holding a Skilled Worker Visa if you have been in the UK for five years and you meet the other ILR requirements. These include:
- are earning £35,500 per year or more;
- have no unspent convictions;
- have been living and working in the UK;
- are still in a position of employment from a registered Tier 2 Sponsor able to legally employ migrant workers.
To apply for ILR, you will need to have spent at least five years in the UK on the same visa. If your original Skilled Worker Visa was not granted for five years, you may need to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa extension to reach the five-year requirement.
There is also a 10-year ILR route for those who have been in the UK for 10 years under different visa categories.
You can start the process of applying for ILR before your current visa has expired. You will need to submit the application form via the Home Office website to begin your journey toward a settlement in the UK.
To begin the application process to move from Skilled Worker to ILR, you will need to pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test. This test will require you to show an understanding of British culture, history and current affairs. You will also have to meet the English Language requirements if applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain while on a Skilled Worker Visa.
If you were granted your Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa before April 6 2010, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain if you have spent at least five years’ continuous residence in the UK.
For those who received their visa after this date, you will not be able to switch from ICT to ILR. To receive more information on your options for staying after your ICT Visa expires, get in touch with our expert advisers today on 0333 363 8577.
IAS host a team of highly-equipped immigration lawyers, who can help you successfully switch from your Skilled Worker Visa to ILR. An application for ILR is very extensive and requires you to be properly prepared for many different elements.
Our services include:
- assessing your eligibility for ILR;
- preparing you for your ‘Life in the UK’ test;
- ensuring that your immigration background has been documented properly for the Home Office;
- ensuring that each stage of your application is completed to the proper standard;
- performing a full document check to make sure you have sufficient supporting documents;
- liaising with the Home Office where appropriate;
- preparing a Letter of Representation to accompany your application. This letter details your case and its merits as well as referencing any relevant UK immigration laws in support of your case.
Get in touch with IAS on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced immigration lawyers.