Can I change jobs on a Skilled Worker visa?
As a Skilled Worker Visa, or, old Tier 2 General visa holder, and you are looking to change job or employer, you are required to apply to the Home Office to update your Skilled Worker visa accordingly.
There are a number of different scenarios which may mean that you have to update your Skilled Worker visa. If any of the following apply to you, you must act correctly in order to retain your visa status in the UK.
A Skilled Worker visa must be updated in the following instances:
- You wish to change job title
- You wish to begin a new job with a new employer
- Your job is changing to a different occupation code
- You are leaving a job that is on the shortage occupation list to start a new job that is not on the same list
You do not need to apply to update your visa if your job is taken off the shortage occupation list, and you are staying with the same employer in the same job.
Switching job titles or employment whilst on a Skilled Worker visa can prove an intricate process, so it can be beneficial to seek the assistance of a trained immigration lawyer to make the process as smooth as possible. IAS is here to help. Call our team of friendly advisors today on 0333 363 8577 for a chat on how we can help you further with your visa query.
If you are a skilled worker looking to change job or employers, you must ensure that you still meet the Skilled Worker visa requirements. The following skilled worker criteria must apply to you before you proceed to update your visa:
- You must have a job offer from an approved employer- this must be an employer listed on the Home Office list of eligible jobs
- You must have a certificate of sponsorship from the employer in question
- You must meet the minimum salary threshold for your new job
- You must be able to prove your knowledge of the English language– this includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking to the required competency level
- You must fulfil the specific genuineness requirement, therefore you must show you will only undertake your proposed role and will not engage in any additional employment while in the UK.
Your employer must have a sponsor licence in order to issue a skilled worker a certificate of sponsorship. If they do not have the relevant licensing in place, they must seek UK government approval for a licence before they can go ahead and offer you a job.
To successfully update your Skilled Worker visa, you must provide the following documents:
- Certificate of sponsorship reference number- given to you by your employer
- Proof of knowledge of English
- Valid passport as proof of your identity and nationality
- New job occupation code
- Name of your new employer
- Employers sponsor licence number- this can be found listed on the certificate of sponsorship
The documents are required to prove to the Home Office that your intentions to prove that your intentions to change job and update your Skilled Worker visa are genuine.
When does a Skilled Worker visa need to be updated?
Skilled worker visa holders can apply to update their current visa up to three months before their new job is due to commence.
You are able to continue working your current job whilst your Skilled Worker visa application is being processed and updated. You must ensure they you apply in good time before your present visa is due to expire or your notice period ends.
You must not start your new job until you have heard back from the Home Office and you have been informed that your application has been successful. It is essential that you seek permission before making any sort of change of employment to your Skilled Worker visa.
It is vital that you remain inside the UK during the update process. You must not travel outside of the United Kingdom whilst your application to update your Skilled Worker visa is being reviewed by the Home Office. You if do, your application will be withdrawn fully.
Working a second job with a Skilled Worker visa
In some instances you can work a second job on a Skilled Worker visa without updating it, however, you must apply for an update if any of the following apply to your work situation:
- The second job is more than 20 working hours per week
- The second job is in a different occupation code to your sponsored job
The second job you take on must meet the eligibility criteria and you must obtain a sponsor licence before you begin working.
In addition to your application to update, you must include a letter written by yourself that details and explains why you wish to change your current permission to stay in the United Kingdom.
The letter must include the following details:
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- Your current certificate of sponsorship reference number
- The date when your current permission to stay is due to run out
Once you submit your application form to update your Skilled Worker visa application, you can expect to receive a decision within eight weeks of your application date.
During the application process, the Home Office may need to contact you for one of the following reasons:
- Your supporting documents need to be verified
- You need to attend an interview
- Clarification on your personal circumstances
If you do need to be contacted for any of the above reasons, your application will likely be delayed.
There is the possible option of paying additional fees for a priority service which will accommodate a quicker outcome should need one. If this is possible for you, you will be informed at the start of the application process.
How can IAS help?
IAS have a team of expert immigration lawyers ready and waiting to help you with your visa queries.
Switching employment under the Skilled Worker visa route can often prove complex, so advice for an immigration lawyer could be highly advantageous to a visa applicant. IAS immigration lawyers have an extensive track record of successful visa applications and updates. Whether it be an initial application for a Skilled Worker visa, or, you are a skilled worker looking to change jobs, we can assist you in a stress-free application process.
For more information on how IAS can help you, call our team of friendly advisors today on 0333 363 8577 for a chat, or, fill out our dedicated contact form for more assistance.
Last modified on July 26th, 2023 at 3:43 pm
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The fee you pay depends on how long your visa was issued for and whether your job is on the shortage occupation list.
If your visa was issued for under three years the fee is £232.
The fee for a regular Skilled Worker visa is £1,408.
Typically, you must be paid at least £25,600 annually, or, the going rate for your specified job role- it is usually whichever is higher out of the two sums.
Yes, any dependant partner and children will need to update their visa accordingly. This must be done separately to the main applicant who is changing jobs or employer.