Skilled Worker Visa Extension

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.

Can a Skilled Worker Visa be extended?

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 WMYV 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 or make an enquiry online.

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 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.

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.

Our team of immigration lawyers can help you with anything related to the skilled worker visa.

How can We Manage Your Visas help?

The lawyers at WMYV 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 or use our online enquiry form.

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

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