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Change of Employment

The Skilled Worker visa, once called the Tier 2 general work visa, is a sought-after visa for skilled foreigners aiming to work in the UK. To qualify, you must have a job offer from a license holder sponsor and meet a minimum salary requirement.

A common question is whether it’s possible to change a job or employer while on a Skilled Worker visa in the UK. This article will explore options for those wanting to switch jobs or employers, including previous Tier 2 visa holders.

Can You Change Jobs or Employers on a Skilled Worker Visa?

Yes, you can change your job on a Skilled Worker visa as long as you stay with the same employer and your new job has the same standard occupation code (SOC). If you plan to change employers or move to a different SOC, you must apply to update your visa.

Changing Jobs with the Same Employer

You don’t need to submit a change of employment application if:

  • The new job has the same SOC code
  • Both your current and new job are on the shortage occupation list
  • You still meet the 70 points requirement in the Skilled Worker application process, even if your salary is reduced.

Changing Jobs with a New Employer

You will need to submit a change of employment application if you’re moving to a different employer, except in cases like a business merger or purchase.

Skilled Worker Visa Requirements When Changing Jobs or Employers

You must meet the general Skilled Worker visa eligibility requirements:

  • Minimum salary requirement
  • Job on the list of eligible occupations
  • English language requirements
  • No criminality or previous overstaying issues
  • A Skilled Worker sponsor licence holder if switching to a new employer.

Minimum Salary Requirement

You must meet the minimum salary requirement, usually at least £25,600 or your job’s ‘going rate.’ Exceptions may apply depending on specific circumstances.

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How to Update Your Skilled Worker Visa if You Change Job or Employer.

To update your visa, follow these steps:

  • Complete the online Skilled Worker visa application
  • Pay the application, biometric, and healthcare surcharge fees
  • Submit the required documents
  • Book and attend an appointment for biometrics.

How Long to Switch to a New Job on a Skilled Worker Visa?

It might take up to 8 weeks, but you may pay extra for faster processing.

Can I Begin a New Job While My New Visa Application Is Processed?

No, you must wait for approval from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

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What If You Lose a Sponsored Job on the Skilled Worker Visa Route?

If you lose your job, you have 60 days to leave the country or apply for another visa. Options include finding a new skilled role, applying for a different visa type, or applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain if eligible.

What Happens to Your Dependants if You Change Jobs on a Skilled Worker Visa?

Your dependant family members can stay in the UK with you while you complete the process. If unsuccessful and you leave the UK, they lose the right to stay. It’s advisable to consult an immigration advisor to understand and protect your rights.

In conclusion, changing your job or employer while on a Skilled Worker visa is possible but involves specific requirements and procedures. Understanding these is essential to make a successful transition. If in doubt, seeking professional advice is always a wise step.

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