Need legal help and assistance for switching (changing) from your current visa category to a different visa category from inside the UK? Contact our expert team of immigration solicitors in London, Manchester and Birmingham for fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee legal services for switching visas from inside the UK. Ask a question to our expert immigration solicitors for free immigration advice on switching your visa from inside the UK.

Contents Table

What Is Visa Switching?
Switching Into Family Visa UK
Switching Into Visas As Dependants Of Work Visa Holders
Switching Into Dependant Visas (Dependants Of Work Visa Holders)
Switching Into Miscellaneous Other Visa Categories
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Switching Visas

What Is Visa Switching?

Switching’ is where an applicant with one type of leave to remain or immigration status in the UK applies for leave to remain from inside the UK to seek stay under some other visa category. If you are not allowed by the Immigration Rules to switch your visa status from one visa category to the other, the application you make for variation of leave to remain may not succeed. It is therefore important to understand the switching rules to switch from one visa category to the other from inside the UK. In cases where you cannot switch from your current visa status to another from inside the UK, the rules require that you have to leave the UK and apply for UK visa Entry Clearance from your country of nationality.

Our expert team of immigration solicitors can provide legal help and assistance with switching from one visa category to the other from inside the UK. For certain applications, we can also provide Super Priority Service for switching visas from inside the UK.

Followings are the various visa categories for which our expert immigration solicitors can provide fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee legal services for switching into visas from inside the UK:

Switching Into Leave To Remain As Family Member Of A British Citizen & Settled Person

Switching Into Spouse Visa (5 Years Route) Switching Into Spouse Visa (10 Years Route)
Switching Into Civil Partner Visa (5 Years Route) Switching Into Civil Partner Visa (10 Years Route)
Switching Into Unmarried Partner Visa (5 Years Route) Switching Into Unmarried Partner Visa (10 Years Route)
Switching Into Same Sex Partner Visa (5 Years Route) Switching Into Same Sex Partner Visa (10 Years Route)
Switching Into Parent Visa (5 Years Route) Switching Into Parent Visa (10 Years Route)
Switching Into Leave to Remain As Child Of A Person With Leave As Partner Or Parent  

Switching Into Work Visas From Inside The UK

Switching Into Innovator Visa UK Switching Into Start Visa
Switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur Switching Into Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
Switching Into Tier 1 Investor Visa Switching Into Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa
Switching Into Tier 2 General Visa Switching Into Tier 2 Minister Of Religion Visa
Switching Into Tier 2 ICT Long Term Staff Switching Into Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa
Switching Into Tier 5 Creative & Sporting Worker Visa Switching Into Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange Visa From Inside The UK
Switching Into Tier 5 International Agreement Visa Switching Into Turkish ECAA Businessperson Visa
Switching Into Turkish ECAA Worker Visa  

Switching Into Leave To Remain As Dependant Of Work Visa Holder

Switching Into Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Innovator Migrant Switching Into Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Start Up Migrant
Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 1 Entrepreneur Migrant Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Migrant
Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 1 Investor Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Migrant
Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 2 General Migrant Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 2 Minister Of Religion
Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 2 Sportsperson Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 2 ICT Migrant
Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 5 Charity Worker Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 5 Creative & Sporting Worker
Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 5 Religious Worker Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange Worker
Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 5 International Agreement Worker Switching Into Dependant Visa As Dependant Of UK Ancestry Migrant
Switching Into Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Domestic Worker Switching Into Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Sole Representative
Switching Into Leave To Remain As A Dependant Of A Turkish ECAA Businessperson Switching Into Leave To Remain As A Dependant Of Turkish ECAA Worker

Switching Into Miscellaneous Other Visa Categories

Switching Into Leave To Remain Under 7 Years Child Residence Route Switching Into Leave To Remain On The Basis Of Being Over 18, Under 25 And Living At Least Half Of The Life In The UK
Switching Into Leave To Remain On The Basis Of Very Significant Obstacles To Integration In Country Of Origin Switching Into Discretionary Leave Outside The Rules (10 Years Route)
Switching Into Residence Card As Family Member Of An EEA National Switching Into Derivative Residence Card
Switching Into Retaining Right of Residence Switching Into Leave To Remain For 2 Years On The Basis of 10 Years Long Residence
Switching Into Tier 4 General Student Visa Switching Into PBS Dependant Visa As Dependant Of Tier 4 General Student
Switching Into Tier 4 Child Student Switching Into Leave To Remain As A Stateless Person
Switching Into Leave To Remain As Family Member Of A Stateless Person Switching Into Leave To Remain On Discharge From HM Forces
Switching Into Leave To Remain As A Partner Of A Member Of HM Foreces Switching Into Leave To Remain As A Child Of Member Of HM Forces
Switching Into Leave To Remain As A Member Of Armed Forces Who Are Not Exempt From Immigration Control Switching Into Leave To Remain As A Relevant Civilian Employee
Switching Into Leave To Remain As A Dependant Of A Member Of Non-HM Forces & Relevant Civilian Employee

 

FAQs - Switching Into Spouse Visa UK (5 Years Route)

What are useful online sources of information and guidance for switching into spouse visa under 5 years route?

You can rely on following useful online sources to find an answer to your question about switching into spouse visa 5 years route from inside the UK:

Apply Online For Switching Into Spouse Visa

The Home Office UKVI website gives you access to the online application form FLR (M) to apply for switching into spouse visa under 5 years route.

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Appendix FM: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM to the UK Immigration Rules sets out the requirements an applicant for switching into spouse visa under 5 years route from inside the UK.

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Appendix FM SE: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM SE to the Immigration Rules sets out the specified documents to meet the financial requirement for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK.

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Appendix FM Financial Requirement: Home Office Guidance

The Home Office UKVI guidance on meeting the financial requirement is a useful source of information and guidance on how to meet the financial requirement for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK.

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Approved English Language Tests

The Home Office UKVI page Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests is a useful source of information about approved English language test centres in the UK and around the world for spouse visa application.

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Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI

The Home Office UKVI guidance: Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI is a useful source of information and guidance about the validity of marriage, divorce, civil partnership or dissolution of civil partnership.

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Upper Tribunal decision in CB (Brazil) (validity of marriage: proxy marriage) [2008] UKAIT 00080 on the recognition of proxy marriages in the UK

This case law deals with the validity of proxy marriages and whether or not such marriages are considered as legally recognised in the UK.

How soon can I apply for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK?

You can apply for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK any time during the validity of your current leave to remain or visa. You do not necessarily have to wait until 28 days before the expiry of your current leave rather it is better to switch earlier, if possible so that your qualifying time for ILR can start as soon you have switched into 5 years route.

How much does it cost to switch into spouse visa?

The Home Office UKVI fees for switching into spouse visa 5 years route are as follows:

  • Application fee: £1033
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £1,000
  • Biometrics Enrolment Fee: £19.20
  • Super Priority Service for decision within 24 hours (Optional): £800

In addition to the Home Office UKVI fees for spouse visa under 5 years route, you will also have to pay the solicitors legal costs if you are getting legal help and assistance of a solicitor for switcing into spouse visa under 5 years route. Click here to check our fixed fee for switching into spouse visa 5 years route.

Can I switch from student visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK?

Yes, you can apply for switching from Tier 4 General Student visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK after you are married to a British Citizen or settled person. UK immigration Rules require that you must not be in breach of immigration laws to be able to switch from Tier 4 General student visa to spouse visa (5 years route).

Can I switch from Tier 2 to spouse visa from inside the UK?

Yes, a Tier 2 Migrant who is married to a British Citizen or settled person can switch from Tier 2 visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK.

Can I switch from Tier 5 to Spouse visa?

Yes, a Tier 5 Migrant who is married to a British Citizen or settled person can switch from Tier 5 visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK.

What is the processing time for switching into spouse visa (5 years route)?

The processing time for switching into spouse visa (5 years route) is dependent on the type of service you use to apply for switching into spouse visa. The processing times for switching into spouse visa (5 years route) are as follows:

Standard Service

An application for switching into spouse visa under standard service is likely to be decided by the Home Office UKVI within 3 to 6 months.

Priority Service

An application for switching into spouse visa under priority service is likely to be decided within 5 working days.

Super Priority Service

An application for switching into spouse visa under the Super Priority Service is likely to be decided within 24 hours.

FAQs - Switching Into Spouse Visa (10 Years Route)

Do I have to meet the English language and financial requirement for switching into spouse visa under 10 years route?

No, you do not have to meet the English language requirement and financial requirement for switching into spouse visa under 10 years route.

Will I get in-country right of appeal if my FLR (FP) application as a spouse under 10 years route is refused by the Home Office UKVI?

Unless your human rights claim is certified by the Home Office UKVI as manifestly unfounded, you will get an in-country right of appeal against the refusal of your FLR (FP) application as a partner.

A decision of the Home Office UKVI to certify the human rights claim as manifestly unfounded and not give in-country right of appeal can be challenged by way of Pre Action Protocol and Judicial Review.

What is the cost of switching into spouse visa 10 years route?

The Home Office UKVI fees for switching into spouse visa 10 years route are as follows:

  • Application fee: £1033
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £1,000
  • Biometrics Enrolment Fee: £19.20
  • Super Priority Service for decision within 24 hours (Optional): £800

In addition to the Home Office UKVI fees for switching into spouse visa under 10 years route, you will also have to pay the solicitors legal costs if you are getting legal help and assistance of a solicitor for switching into spouse visa under 10 years route. Our fixed fees for spouse visa 10 years route are given in the table below:

Our Service Our Fee
One-off immigration consultation/advice for switching into spouse visa 10 years route £80 (inclusive of VAT)
One-Off Spouse Visa Application Checking Service / Documents Assessment £240 (inclusive of VAT)
Full service for switching into spouse visa (10 years route) to  cover all the work until decision by the Home Office UKVI From £800 + VAT To £2,000 + VAT

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the application and the volume of casework involved in the application.

Can I switch from spouse visa 10 years route to spouse visa 5 years route?

Any time during the validity of leave to remain as spouse under 10 years route, the applicant can switch into spouse visa under the 5 years route so that he can qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after spending 5 years on spouse visa rather than 10 years under the spouse visa. It is always better to make such application for switching from 10 years route to 5 years route as early as possible so that the qualifying time for ILR under the 5 years route can start as soon as you have switched into 5 years route. We can provide Super Priority Service for switching from 10 years route to 5 years route.

For How Loong Will I Be Granted Leave To Remain Under Spouse Visa 10 Years Route?

If your application for switching into spouse visa under the 10 years route is successful, you will be granted leave to remain in the UK for 30 months. You will need to complete 10 years in the UK with leave to remain as a spouse under 10 years route before you can apply for ILR as a spouse under 10 years route.

FAQs - Switching Into Tier 2 General Visa

Does RLMT exemption apply when switching from start-up visa to Tier 2 General visa?

No, the exemption from Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) does not apply when switching from start-up visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK.

What is the processing time for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

The processing time for an application for switching into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK is dependent on the type of service you use for your application.

Standard Service

An application for switching into Tier 2 General visa is normally decided within 8 weeks if you apply using standard service.

Priority Service

If you apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa using Priority Service, you will normally get a decision on your application within 5 working days.

Super Priority Service

If you apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa using Super Priority Service, you will normally get decision on your application within 24 hours.

Can I switch from spouse visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

No, you cannot switch from spouse visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK. You will have to leave the UK and apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance from your country of nationality.

Can I switch from Tier 2 ICT to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

You can switch from Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK only if you applied for your initial Tier 2 ICT entry clearance under the rules in place before 6 April 2011. A person who applied for initial Tier 2 ICT visa after 6 April 2011 is not eligible to switch into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK.

Who can switch to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

You can apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK if you have, or were last granted, leave in one of the categories listed below:

  • Tier 1 visa
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa
  • Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa
  • Tier 2 (Intra company Transfer) visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 and you’re applying to change sponsor
  • Tier 4 visa - if you have an eligible qualification, will complete your course in 3 months, or you’ve done at least 12 months of a PhD
  • Start-up visa
  • Innovator visa
  • Tier 4 Dependent Partner
  • Representative of an overseas business

Can Tier 2 ICT Dependant switch to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

No, you cannot switch from Tier 2 ICT Dependant visa to Tier 2 General from inside the UK. You will have to leave the UK and apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance from your country of nationality. There will be no cooling-off period for Tier 2 ICT Dependant to apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance from outside the UK.

What is the minimum salary for switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

If you are a Tier 4 Graduate switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2 General visa, you can be paid "New Entrant" salary for your Tier 2 job which should be either £20,800 or as specified in the relevant code of practice in Appendix J to the Immigration Rules, whichever is higher.

How can I change from Tier 4 to Tier 2 General from inside the UK?

A Tier 4 Graduate can switch from Tier 4 visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK. You can only switch into Tier 2 General if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are currently, or have last been, sponsored by a Tier 4 sponsor which is either:
    • a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; or
    • an overseas higher education institution, and were sponsored to undertake a short-term study abroad programme in the United Kingdom, and
  • you have
    • completed, or are applying no more than 3 months before the expected completion date for, a course leading to a UK recognised bachelor’s or master’s degree;
    • completed, or are applying no more than 3 months before the expected completion date for a course leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Professional Graduate Diploma of Education; or
    • completed a minimum of 12 months’ study in the UK towards a UK PhD during your current period of leave or a period of continuous leave which includes your last grant of leave; and
  • you studied for, or are studying, the eligible award at a UK institution that is a UK recognised or listed body, or an education provider which holds a licence for sponsoring students under Tier 4 of the Points-Based System; and
  • your periods of UK study and/or research towards your course ‘have been undertaken whilst you had entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK that was not subject to a restriction preventing you from undertaking it; and
  • if you undertook or are still undertaking, the study for the qualification whilst holding leave as a Tier 4 student, you have undertaken the study at the institution which is the Tier 4 sponsor, and not through supplementary study; and
  • you are applying from inside the UK.

You must provide a degree certificate, academic transcript or an academic reference on official headed paper of the institution. You may have been sponsored in your studies by Her Majesty’s Government, your home government or any international scholarship agency. If you have had such sponsorship within the past 12 months, you must provide Home Office UKVI with the Government or international scholarship agency’s unconditional consent in writing, giving you their permission to remain in, or re-enter, the UK.

The Tier 2 sponsor is exempt from meeting the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) if the applicant meets the above referred switching criteria. The employer needs to issue an unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) which the applicant will use to make an application for switching into Tier 2 General leave. The applicant's job and salary level should comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice in Appendix J to the Immigration Rules.

Can I switch from Tier 4 Dependant Partner visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

Yes, you can switch from Tier 4 Dependant partner visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK. Your Tier 2 sponsor should assign a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for you to apply for switching from Tier 4 Dependant Partner vsia to Tier 2 General visa.

How can I apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

You can apply online for switching into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK. You can only submit your online application after your Tier 2 sponsor has assigned you a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Upon submission of the online application, you have to pay the Home Office UKVI fees online, book the appointment online with the UKVCAS application centre for enrolment of biometrics, upload all the documents online and attend the biometrics centre for enrolment of biometrics.

What is the job skill level required for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

For switching into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK, the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned by your prospective employer must confirm that:

What is Shortage Occupations List (SOL) for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

The shortage occupation list is an official list of occupations as given in Appendix K of the Immigration Rules for which there are not enough resident workers to fill job vacancies. The shortage occupation lists are recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and are revised periodically.

You will be awarded 30 points if your job was on a shortage occupation list at the time your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) was assigned by your Tier 2 General sponsor.

There is one list for the whole of the UK and a further additional list for Scotland. If you want to be awarded points for a job on the shortage occupation list in Scotland, you must be undertaking that job in Scotland.

You should confirm with your Tier 2 General sponsor that they have indicated that your job is a shortage occupation in the relevant field on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). You should also confirm with your Tier 2 General sponsor that the SOC code and job description on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) show that the job is one of those included on the shortage occupation list.

In general, if a role is on the shortage occupation list, your sponsor is not required to advertise the position.

Can I apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa as a New Entrant?

According to Appendix J to the Immigration Rules, New Entrant” rate will only apply if:

 the applicant:

  • is applying as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant and scores points from the Post-Study Work provisions of Appendix A,
  • is applying as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant and scores points from the Resident Labour Market Test provisions of Appendix A, on the basis that his Sponsor has carried out a university milkround,
  • is applying as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant in the Graduate Trainee sub-category,

OR

  • was under the age of 26 on the date the application was made; and
  • the applicant is applying for entry clearance or leave to remain (not for indefinite leave to remain); and
  • the applicant is not applying for a grant of leave that would extend his total stay in Tier 2 and/or as a Work Permit Holder beyond 3 years and 1 month.

What if my prospective employer does not have the Tier 2 General sponsor licence to sponsor me for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

If your prospective employer does not have the Tier 2 General sponsor licence to sponsor you for switching into Tier 2 General visa, our expert team of sponsor licence solicitors can help your prospective employer to apply for Tier 2 General sponsor licence so that your employer is able to sponsor you for switching into Tier 2 General visa.

What is the minimum salary requirement for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

The salary to be paid to a Tier 2 General Migrant should not be less than the minimum salary threshold as set out in Table 11CA in paragraph 79A to Appendix A of the Immigration Rules. The minimum salary threshold for Tier 2 General visa is as given in the table below:

Circumstances Minimum Salary
None of the exceptions below apply. £30,000 per year or the appropriate rate for the job as stated in Appendix J, whichever is higher

The applicant is considered to be a “New Entrant”.

£20,800 per year or the appropriate rate for the job as stated in Appendix J, whichever is higher

The job is one of the following public service occupations:

  • 2217 Medical radiographers
  • 2231 Nurses
  • 2314 Secondary education teaching professionals – subject teachers in maths, physics, chemistry, computer science and Mandarin only
  • 3213 Paramedics.
£20,800 per year or the appropriate rate for the job as stated in Appendix J, whichever is higher
The occupation is either 2231 Nurses or 2232 Midwives and meets the requirements of paragraph 77K for applicants undertaking the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) to obtain Nursing and Midwifery Council registration. At least the appropriate rate for a Band 3 and equivalent nurse or midwife, as stated in Table 9 of Appendix J until registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Registration is either successfully completed, otherwise closed, or after 8 months of the stated employment date, whichever is earlier.

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

A certificate of sponsorship (CoS) holds your personal details and information about the job you’ve been offered. It’s an electronic record, not a paper document. Your sponsor will give you a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) reference number to add to your Tier 2 General visa application.

You can only use your certificate of sponsorship (CoS) reference number once. You must use your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) within 3 months of the date it is assigned to you.

How can I find a list of licenced Tier 2 General sponsors?

The Home Office UKVI maintains a list of licenced Tier 2 General sponsors. The list of Tier 2 sponsors is also known as register of Tier 2 sponsors.

Can I switch into Tier 2 General visa as an uregistered nurse or midwife?

If you are applying for switching into Tier 2 General worker visa to work in the UK as a nurse or midwife and are not yet registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), you must have passed the NMC’s Computer Based Test (CBT) or your application for switching into Tier 2 General visa will be refused. You must provide evidence from the NMC to demonstrate this.

Furthermore, your Tier 2 General sponsor must also confirm that you will sit an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) within 3 months of your stated employment start date.

If you need to pass your OSCE, your Tier 2 General sponsor must tell the Home Office UKVI within 10 working days:

  • If you fail your OSCE but arrange a re-sit and they still want to sponsor you if you pass. They must tell the Home Office UKVI the date of your re-sit.
  • If you re-sit your OSCE and fail for the second time, they must tell the Home Office UKVI. They must also stop sponsoring you if you do not obtain full NMC registration within 8 months of the start date on your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). If you have moved sponsors but were previously granted Tier 2 General leave as a nurse or midwife, the 8 months will start from the start date of your previous employment.
  • If you pass your OSCE, they must tell Home Office UKVI the date you will start working for them as a registered nurse or midwife.
  • If they decide at any point that they no longer wish to sponsor you. For example, if you fail your first OSCE and they do not want to wait until you have done a re-sit.

You are able to make 3 attempts to pass the OSCE. If you fail your first attempt at OSCE, you can re-sit it after ten days. If you fail it a second time, you will have the opportunity to sit for a third time, waiting 3 months to allow for further preparation. If you fail for a third time, you will be unable to re-sit the OSCE until 6 months have passed since your previous unsuccessful test and will have to re-apply to the NMC.

If you are already in the UK with entry clearance or leave to remain and your sponsor stops sponsoring you, Home Office UKVI will reduce (curtail) your leave.

For how long will I be granted leave to remain as a result of successful application for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

You will be granted Tier 2 General leave according to the start date and end date of your job as given in your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The maximum period for which your employer can sponsor you for your Tier 2 Geneal visa is 5 years. You can extend your Tier 2 General visa further for one more year after 5 years which means the maximum time a person can spend in the UK under Tier 2 General visa category is 6 years in total.

Normally, most applicants are able to apply for ILR as Tier 2 General Migrants 28 days before completion of 5 years in the UK with leave to remain as Tier 2 General Migrant.

When does an exemption from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

The Resident Labour Market Test does not apply if the job offer is:

  • in a supernumerary research position where you have been issued a non-transferrable scientific research Award or Fellowship either:
    • by a third party organisation, and the Award or Fellowship cannot be transferred to anyone else; or
    • by your Sponsor if the following requirements are met:
      • you have been selected through a competitive process on the basis of your own research proposal; and
      • the funding of the research is secured in an agreement between your Sponsor and a third party organisation, which includes objectively justified requirements that effectively prohibit any settled worker from undertaking the role.

This exemption continues to apply after the relevant third party funding has ended, as long as you are being sponsored to continue to undertake the same research; or

  • to continue working as a Doctor or Dentist in training, under the same NHS Training Number which was assigned to you for previous lawful employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training in the UK, including where you are applying to return to your training after an out of programme experience; or
  • as a Doctor in Speciality Training and your salary and the costs of your training are being met by the government of another country under an agreement with that country and the UK Government; or
  • to resume a post in a Higher Education Institution, working for the same Sponsor as in a previous grant of entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, where the break in employment is due solely to a period of academic leave.
  • to continue working as a member of an existing research team and:
    • the Sponsor is a Higher Education Institution or a Research Council, and
    • you have previously worked with the lead researcher as part of their team for a continuous 12 month period immediately before the date of the application (or for 12 months during the 24 months immediately before the date of the application, if you have been absent due to the reasons shown in paragraph 234 of the Tier 2 Policy Guidance during that time)
  • connected with the inward investment provisions
  • to do a job for which salary is not less than £159,600 gross per annum
  • to do a job which is in the list of shortage occupations list.

Your sponsor must include full details of the why the exemption applies on the Certificate of Sponsorship.

FAQs - Switching Into Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

What are the useful online sources for information about switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

Following are the useful online sources of information for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK:

Home Office UKVI Guidance On Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The Home Office UKVI guidance on application for UK visa as Tier 1 Entrepreneur is a useful source of information for applicants who are considering to apply for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK.

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245DD. Requirements For Leave To Remain

Paragraph 245DD in part 6A of the Immigration Rules lays down the requirements an applicant has to meet for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK.

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OANDA Currency Coverter

OANDA Currency Coverter is the Home Officer UKVI approved currency converter to convert foreign currency to Great Britain Pounds (GBP).

Can I apply for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa category has been closed by the Home Office UKVI from 30 March 2019 for initial applications and has been replaced by Innovator visa category. However, a person with Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur leave or someone who switched from Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur to Start-up visa can still make initial application for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa.

What is the processing time for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK?

An application for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK can only be made using standard service and is normally granted within 3 to 4 weeks.

Priority Service or Super Priority Service is not available to applicants applying for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK.

What are the eligibility requirements for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK?

If you’re already in the UK you may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if:

  • you’re on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
  • you switched to a Start-up visa from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for your second year

You must meet the eligibility requirements for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. You must have:

  • £50,000 in funds to spend in the UK
  • a viable business plan

Additionally, you should also meet the English language requirment and the funds for maintenance requirement.

What are the conditions of grant of leave to remain as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur?

Permission to stay under Tier 1 Entrepreneur route will be subject to the following conditions:

  • no recourse to public funds (which means you will not be able to claim most benefits paid by the state);
  • registration with the police, if this is required by paragraph 326 of the Immigration Rules;
  • no employment other than working for the business or businesses that you have established, joined or taken over, but working for such business(es) does not include any work you do which is effectively employment with another business;
  • no employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach); and
  • study subject to getting ATAS certificate, where required by the Rules.

Can I sponsor my dependants to stay with me to the UK?

You can sponsor your dependants (spouse/partner and children under the age of 18) to stay with you in the UK as your dependants.

What is the points based criteria for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa from inside the UK?

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is a Points Based visa category and points can be awarded for the Attributes Section, English language and funds for maintenance. A Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant should score 95 points in total to qualify for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. The breakdown of the required points for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is given in the table below:

Criterion Points
The applicant must demonstrate that they have access to funds of at least £50,000 which is available to them or their business. 25
The applicant’s money is held in one or more regulated financial institution 25
The applicant’s money is disposable in the UK. If the applicant is applying for leave to remain the money must be held in the UK. 25
Funds for maintenance 10
English language 10
Total Points 95

Do I need a business plan to apply for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

If the applicant is making an initial application for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, they must provide a business plan, setting out their proposed business activities in the UK and how they expect to make their business succeed.

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Sunrise Solicitors is the trading name of Sunrise Solicitors Ltd (company registration no. 6405492). Sunrise Solicitors Offices are regulated by SRA under SRA ID 490903 (London Office) and SRA ID 645256 (Manchester Office). Sunrise Solicitors are also members of Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA).

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