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Switching From Dependant Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa

If you are in the UK and hold a Dependant Visa, you may be eligible to change your current visa to a Skilled Worker Visa.

To find out more about switching from Dependent Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa, call IAS at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact one of our advisers online.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS For Your Work Visa

    Our team of immigration lawyers can provide the right support to ensure you secure a work visa for yourself or your employees.


    Your immigration lawyer will consider your case and offer bespoke advice, and they will advise you on the optimum route to take to achieve your desired result.

    By working with IAS for your or your employee’s work visa, you make sure that you have an expert eye and hands on your case to boost your chances of success.

    We ensure you are applying for the most suitable work visa to boost your chances of success.

    We provide advice on the appropriate documentary evidence required to support your case.

    You get a personalised approach from a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer

    You work with you and liaise with the Home Office on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome.

    Regardless of what your personal immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    Is it Possible to Switch from Dependant Visa to Skilled Worker Visa?

    Switching from the Dependant Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa is possible if you hold any of the following UK visas:

    • Point-Based System (PBS) Dependant Visa
    • Skilled Worker Dependant Visa (previously known as Tier 2 Visa)
    • Student Dependant Visa (previously known as Tier 4 Visa)
    • Innovator Dependant Visa
    • Scale-up Dependant Visa
    • High Potential Individual (HPI) Dependant Visa
    • Global Talent Dependant Visa

    Switching to the Skilled Worker Visa enables you to live and work in the UK independently from the main visa holder whom you’re currently depending on. This means if the main visa holder leaves the UK, or your circumstances change, and you no longer live together, you can stay in the UK and maintain your independent Skilled Worker status.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist with your switching from dependant visa to a skilled worker visa.

    Eligibility Requirements for Switching from a Dependant Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa

    To switch from a Dependant Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

    • Have a job offer from an approved employer.
    • Hold a Certificate of Sponsorship
    • The job must meet the minimum salary requirements – a salary of £26,200 per year, £10.75 per hour, or the going rate for the role – whichever is highest.
    • Meet the English language requirement – this means that you must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Scale or have a qualification that is seen as equivalent.  Some medical professionals are also exempt from this requirement.

    Documents Required for Switching from a Dependant Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa

    As part of your application you will be required to submit documentation including:

    • Valid passport or other travel document
    • Proof of meeting the English language requirement
    • Certificate of Sponsorship obtained from your employer in the UK, you will need this to provide:
      • Your job title and annual salary
      • Your job’s occupation code
      • Your employer’s name and Sponsor Licence Number
    • Proof of funds to show that you have enough money to support yourself – bank statements showing at least £1,270 in your bank account. If you have been in the UK for at least a year or your employer is planning to cover the costs.
    • Evidence of a genuine relationship with your dependants (partner or children) if they’re applying with you
    • Tuberculosis (TB) test results if you are from a country where there is required
    • Clear criminal background
    • Valid ATAS certificate, if required for a job involving research on a sensitive subject
    • PhD certificate or your Ecctis reference number

    IAS is a team of immigration lawyers who have helped many immigrants with their visa application process by assisting them in gathering the required documents to guarantee that they provide adequate documents and information for their visa applications. Call IAS at +44 (0)333 305 9375 to speak to one of our advisers about your case.

    Applying to Switch to a Skilled Worker Visa

    Dependant Visa holders can apply to switch to a Skilled Worker Visa from within the UK up to 3 months before the sponsored employment starts and applications must be submitted before the current visa expires.

    To switch, you must complete and submit the Skilled Worker Visa application form through the UK Visas and Immigration website. You must ensure you have all the required supporting documents for your application and submit them with the online form as well as the application fee.

    The standard cost of switching to the Skilled Worker Visa from inside the UK is £827 for a visa valid for up to 3 years and £1,500 for a visa valid for more than 3 years.

    The visa fee is lower if your job is on the Shortage Occupation List – £551 for up to 3 years and £1,084 for more than 3 years.

    You will also need to pay the healthcare surcharge fee. This fee is paid each year of your stay in the UK. It’s usually £624 per year. Paying this fee allows you to receive healthcare in the UK. You and your dependents are exempt from paying this fee if you’re a health and care worker eligible for the Health and Care Worker Visa (a subcategory of the Skilled Worker Visa).

    Once you submit your application, you must book and attend an appointment at your nearest UKVCAS service point. The purpose of the appointment is to provide your biometrics (a photo taken and fingerprints scanned).

    If the Home Office requires additional information or documents, they will contact you. You must reply promptly to any requests otherwise your application could be delayed or even refused.

    Visa Switch Processing Time

    The processing time for the Skilled Worker Visa takes up to 3 weeks. However, the visa switch processing time can be delayed. This can happen if your application is missing information or documents, you need to attend an appointment, or you have been found to have previously breached immigration laws.

    Under the UK’s immigration rules, you may be able to apply for a faster decision on your Skilled Worker Visa if you use the ‘priority service’, which costs £500 and is paid in addition to the application fee. With the priority service, you will usually get a decision on your visa within 5 working days from the day of your appointment. If the Home Office finds it necessary to investigate your case further or needs additional documents or information, the priority service can take longer than 5 days.

    You may also be eligible to use the ‘super priority service’, which costs £1,000 in addition to the visa application fee and ensures an even faster processing of your application. With the super priority service, the decision on your application can be made by the end of the next working day after your appointment, as long as the Home Office does not require further documents or information.

    Please note that paying for a faster decision on your visa will not change the outcome of the application. For a higher chance of a successful Skilled Worker Visa application, you must provide adequate evidence of your eligibility. Contact IAS to have your case assessed and receive professional advice to ensure the best outcome for your application. Call +44 (0)333 305 9375 to speak to one of our immigration advisers.

    How Can IAS Help?

    Switching to the Skilled Worker Visa from a Dependant Visa can be complicated and prevent you from holding an immigration status independently from someone else.

    IAS can help you with the process of switching from a Dependant Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa by assessing your eligibility, assisting you throughout the visa application process and providing detailed immigration advice about the required supporting documents for your application to make the visa switching process hassle-free for you.

    Contact IAS today by calling +44 (0)333 305 9375 or chat with us online.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    If you lose your job, or your employer loses their licence, and you’re holding a Skilled Worker Visa, you must either leave your job and leave the UK or apply for another visa application to stay in the UK.

    If you secure a new role with a different company that is licensed to sponsor Skilled Workers, you may be able to remain in the UK as long as you inform the UKVI about the change of jobs.

    If you do not secure a different job, you may be able to switch to a different visa, such as the High Potential Individual Visa, the Scale-Up Worker Visa, or the Start-Up Visa. Other visas you might want to consider switching to are a Partner Visa if you have a partner who is settled in the UK or a Student Visa if you have been offered a course that fulfils the Student Visa eligibility requirements.

    Yes. You can switch from a Student Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa if you meet the eligibility criteria. You must have either completed your course of study for which the Confirmation of Acceptance was assigned or your course has not yet been completed, and the job you have been offered will not start before the course completion date. You can also switch to the Skilled Worker Visa if you’re a PhD student with a track record of immigration compliance, and the job you have been offered will start at least 24 months after your course has started.

    However, if you’re on a Short-Term Student Visa, you cannot apply to become a Skilled Worker from within the UK. You must leave the UK and then apply for a Skilled Worker Visa if you meet the eligibility criteria.


    If you are a dependent of a Skilled Worker, your visa validity depends on the visa validity of the main Skilled Worker Visa holder. If the main visa holder’s visa is valid for 3 years, your Dependant Visa is valid for 3 years. You cannot stay in the UK beyond the validity of the main Skilled Worker Visa validity. However, the main visa holder may be eligible to extend their visa, which would automatically extend your Dependant Visa for the same duration of time.


    You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain if you have lived in the UK with a Skilled Worker Visa for at least 5 years. You must also meet other criteria, such as salary and English language requirements, pass the Life in the UK Test and continue to be employed in your sponsored role.

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