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Skilled Worker Visa Extension

The Skilled Worker Visa, previously known as the Tier 2 Visa, can be valid for up to 5 years. However, if you want to remain the UK after this time, then you could be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa renewal.

For assistance with your visa extension application, get in touch with our team of expert immigration lawyers today on 0333 305 3612

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    Skilled Worker extension

    The Skilled Worker Visa is the main immigration route for skilled workers who would like to live and work in the UK. This visa was previously known as the Tier 2 General Visa prior to the introduction of the UK’s new points-based immigration system. The Skilled Worker Visa can last up to 5 years.

    However, eligible visa holders may be granted further leave to remain in the UK after the expiration of their permit, provided that they apply for an extension before the termination of their current immigration status. Those who were granted a Tier 2 Visa before the new immigration system came into place can also be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa extension.

    The lawyers at IAS are experts in Skilled Worker Visa extension applications. We have worked with businesses and employees across the country to continue their employment in the UK. To find out more, call us now on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online.

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    How to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa extension

    If you want to apply to extend your Skilled Worker Visa then you must submit your renewal application from within the UK, and before your current visa expires. You can apply by filling in the online application form that is available on the gov.uk website.

    Once your employer has agreed to extend your contract, they will need to apply for an unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

    As part of your extension application, you will need to prove your identity and will also have to submit supporting documents to show that you can meet the requirements. To prove your identity you can either:

    Skilled Worker Visa renewal requirements

    To be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa extension, there are requirements that you will need to meet. You must:

    • Have the same job as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
    • Your job must be in the same occupation code as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
    • You must still be working for the employer who gave you your current Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

    You will also need to meet the same requirements that you did when you were originally granted a Skilled Worker Visa, so you will need a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), a relevant salary for your role, evidence of maintenance funds and proof of your English language ability.

    Skilled Worker extension processing time

    It usually takes around 8 weeks to receive a decision from the Home Office on your application. However in some cased this can take longer, this can be for a number of reasons including:

    • Your supporting documents may need to be verified
    • You may need to attend an interview
    • There may be an issue with your personal circumstances, for example if you have a criminal conviction

    UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will contact you if they require more information from you after you have submitted your application.

    If you are pushed for time, you may be able to pay to get a faster decision using the Home Office’s priority service. The Priority Service costs £500 and you will receive a decision within 5 working days. The Super Priority Service costs £800 and you will get a decision within one working day if your appointment is on a weekday or within two working days if your appointment is on a weekend.

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    Extending your visa with a new employer

    If you have had a change of employment, such as a new job or a new sponsor, then you cannot apply to extend your visa but instead must apply to update your visa. To be eligible to update your Skilled Worker Visa your new job will need to meet the requirements and you will need a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your licenced sponsor to prove this.

    You’ll only need to provide other evidence that your meet the requirements if you have been in the UK for less than a year.

    You must also update your Skilled Worker Visa is you take on a second job that is more than 20 hours per week or a different occupation code, if you change jobs or employers or if move from a job that is on the Shortage Occupation list to one that isn’t a Shortage Occupation role.

    You can apply to update your visa 3 months before you begin your new job and you can continue to work in your current job whilst your application is considered. You can make the application using the form available online.

    Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain

    Whilst applying for a Skilled Worker Visa extension will allow you to remain in the UK, you may also be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if you would like to make the UK your permanent home. ILR will grant you permission to remain in the UK without any time restrictions and the Skilled Worker Visa category is one of many immigration categories that you can become eligible to apply under.

    Skilled Worker Visa holders can become eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain when they have been in the UK for at least 5 years. You can submit your ILR application before your current Skilled Worker Visa expires.

    As well as meeting the residency requirements, to be eligible for ILR there are other criteria that you must meet such as passing the Life in the UK Test and meeting the appropriate English language requirement.

    If you need support with your visa extension, contact our offices in LondonManchester, or Birmingham, or use our office finder to find your closest branch.

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    How can IAS help?

    The lawyers at IAS understand the importance of maintaining your employment in the UK. With lawyers across the country, we can help you with your Skilled Worker Visa extension wherever you are. It’s highly recommended that you seek professional assistance with your extension application, this is because you will still need to go through a complex application process that will see you having to provide evidence that you meet the eligibility requirements. It can be easy to make a mistake and if you do your extension application could be rejected and you will no longer be able to work in the UK.

    A professional immigration lawyer will ensure that your extension application is completed accurately and will increase your chances of success. Our immigration lawyers have decades of experience when it comes to assisting Skilled Worker Visa extension applicants.

    Our service includes:

    • Completing application forms in full to an expert standard;
    • Reviewing the sponsoring business to ensure compliance with the Home Office;
    • Writing a detailed Letter of Representation to accompany the application;
    • Ensuring all dependents have the correct documents before submission;
    • Managing contact with the Home Office during the application;

    To start your UK visa extension process, or to find out more about your options, call us on 0333 363 8577 or use our online enquiry form.

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              Frequently Asked Questions

              Applicants who are changing their role but staying with the same employer need to get a new CoS before they can submit their request.

              A new Certificate of Sponsorship is required if:

              • Your core duties are changing and a new Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code applies;
              • Your new job has the same SOC code, but your salary is going to be less than the required rate (as shown by the relevant code of practice)
              • You are changing from a job which is on the Shortage Occupation list to one which is not;
              • Your pay reduces from the level indicated on your current Certificate of Sponsorship;
              • Your core duties change such that you are switching from a different job but within the same SOC code.

              As of the 1st January 2021 a new immigration system was introduced in the UK. The Tier 2 Visa no longer exists under the new system and has been replaced by the Skilled Worker Visa.

              However, individuals who are currently in the UK on a Tier 2 Visa still have a right to remain and can apply for a visa extension when their visa is set to expire. To apply for an extension if you have a Tier 2 Visa, you may need to meet different eligibility requirements depending on when your received your first Certificate of Sponsorship, when you first applied for your Tier 2 Visa and your occupation code.

              If you got your certificate of sponsorship before 24 November 2016 and you apply to extend before 24 May 2023, the minimum salary you’ll need to be paid is fixed at a lower rate. You’ll need to be paid at least £20,800 per year unless the ‘going rate’ for your occupation higher than this.

              If you got your certificate of sponsorship on or after 24 November 2016 and you apply to extend before 1 December 2026, you will still need to meet the new salary requirements.

              If you applied for your first Tier 2 (General) or Skilled Worker visa before 6 April 2021 then the minimum salary requirement of £10.10 per hour or the going rate for your occupation does not apply.

              Once your employer has agreed to extend your contract, they will need to apply for an unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

              A Skilled Worker extension application must be completed within three months of the new CoS being assigned or 60 days before your current leave expires, whichever is sooner.

              For example, if the employer has assigned a new CoS on 28th February, the applicant will be able to apply up until 28th May.

              For help of advice with your Skilled Worker extension application, contact our expert immigration lawyers today.

              Yes, our immigration lawyers offer a number of services to support your with your extension application. Our services range from assistance with filling in application forms, to help with gathering all of the required documents that you will need.

              If you are unsure about whether you meet the eligibility requirements, our lawyers offer legal advice sessions where they will discuss your situation with you, can assess your eligibility and can inform you of your immigration options.