If you are already lawfully in the UK, you may be able to switch from your current visa category to a difference visa category from inside the UK.

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 LondonManchester 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.

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 A 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 T2 Minister Of Religion Visa

Can I switch from T5 Religious Worker visa to T2 Minister of Religion visa from inside the UK?

Yes, you can switch from T5 Religious Worker visa to T2 Minister of Religion visa from inside the UK.

Can I apply for switching into T2 Minister of Religion visa using Super Priority Service?

Yes, you can apply for switching into T2 Minister of Religion visa from inside the UK using Super Priority Service whereby your application will be decided by the Home Office UKVI within 24 hours of biometrics enrolment date.

Can I switch from Student visa to T2 Minister of Religion visa from inside the UK?

Yes, a Student visa holder can switch into T2 Minister of Religion visa from inside the UK.

FAQs - Switching Into Student Visa

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

Yes, you can switch from ICT dependant visa to Student visa from inside the UK.

FAQs - Switching Into Graduate Route Visa

Do I have to have a Student visa or Tier 4 General student visa to apply for Switching into Graduate Route visa?

According to the Home Office UKVI Immigration Rules on switching into Graduate Route visa, the applicant must have, or have last had, permission to stay in the UK as a Student / Tier 4 General Student.

What is Graduate Route / Post Study Work (PSW) visa UK?

The Graduate route, also known as Post Study Work (PSW) visa route is for a Student in the UK who wants to work, or look for work, following the successful completion of an eligible course of study at UK bachelor’s degree-level or above. The study must have been with a higher education provider with a track record of compliance. The Graduate route is an unsponsored route. The Graduate route visa category will become operational from 0900 on 1 July 2021.

Who can apply for switching into Graduate route visa from inside the UK?

Any Student / Tier 4 General having a valid leave to remain as a student / Tier 4 General student who has completed an eligible qualification will be able to apply for switching into Graduate route from 1 July 2021.

Is Graduate route (PSW visa route) a route to settlement?

The Graduate route is not a route to settlement; however, any time spent on the Graduate route does count towards ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence.

Can I apply for Graduate route visa from outside the UK?

No, you can only apply for switching into graduate route visa from inside the UK. You can apply for entry clearance for Graduate route visa from outside the UK.

Can I apply for Graduate Route visa if I previously held Doctorate Extension Scheme(DES) in the UK?

No, you cannot apply for Graduate Route visa (Post Study Work visa) if you previously held Doctorate Extension Scheme(DES) visa in the UK.

Can I apply for Graduate Route visa if I previously held Graduate Route visa in the UK?

No, you cannot apply for Graduate Route visa (Post Study Work visa) if you previously held Graduate Route visa in the UK. 

How can I apply for switching from Student visa to Graduate Route visa from inside the UK?

You can apply online for switching from Student / Tier 4 General student visa to Graduate route visa. 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.

What are the points requirements for Graduate Route visa UK?

The applicant must be awarded a total of 70 pointsbased on the table below:

Points Type Relevant Requirements To Be Met Number Of Points
Successful course completion
  • Successful completion requirement
  • Qualification requirement
  • Study in the UK requirement
70
What is a successful course completion requirment for Graduate Route visa UK?
  • The applicant must have last been sponsored by a Student sponsor which is a higher education provider with a track record of compliance on the date of application;
  • The applicant must have successfully completed the course of study which was undertaken during their last grant of permission to study on the Student route (wherethe applicant was allowed to change their course ofstudy without applying for further permission as a Student, this requirement only applies to the course to which they changed);
  • The student sponsor must have notified the Home Office, by the date of Graduate route application, that the applicant has successfullycompleted the relevant course of study.
What is the qualification requirement for Graduate Route visa UK?

The applicant will meet the qualification requirement if they have successfully completed acourse of study for which they have been or will be awarded a UK bachelor’s degree, a UK postgraduate degree, or successfully completed a relevant qualification listed below.

A relevant qualification is one ofthe following:

  • a law conversion course validated by the Joint Academic Stage Board in England and Wales; or
  • the Legal Practice Course (LPC) in England and Wales, the Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland, or a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland; or
  • the Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland; or
  • a foundation programme in Medicine or Dentistry; or
  • a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE); or
  • a professional course requiring study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above in a profession with reserved activities that is regulated by UK law or UK public authority.  

If the name of the applicant’s course of study was changed by the Student sponsor, but the course content remained the same, or if an integral and assessed work placement or permitted study abroad programme was added, this will not prevent the applicant being able to meet the qualification requirement.

The qualification must have been gained during the last grant of permission to study as a Student / Tier 4 General Student, or in the period of permission immediately before the applicant’s last grant of permission, if the last grant of permission was to undertake a role as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer.

What is the study in the UK requirement for Graduate route visa UK?

The applicant must have studied in the UK for a minimum period of thecourse for which they were last granted permission to study on the Student route (the relevant period), as in the table below:

Total Length Of Course Relevant period of Student permission granted during whichall study tookplace inthe UK(apartfrompermitted study abroad programmes)
12 months orless Full duration of course
Longer than 12 months At least 12 months

Where distance learning took place overseas between 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021, this will not prevent the applicant meeting the requirement to spend the relevant period of studying in the UK if:

  • they began their course in 2020 and entered the UK on or before 21 June 2021and complete that course of study in the UK with permission as a Student; or
  • they began their course in 2021 and entered the UK before 27 September 2021 and complete that course of study in the UK with permission as a Student.

Any period of distance learning between 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021 as part of a course of study lasting longer than 12 months whilst the applicant held permission as a Student, will not prevent the applicant from meeting the requirement to spend the relevant period of studying in the UK.

For how long will I be granted Graduate route visa?

The applicant will be granted the period of permission as set out in the table below dependent on how they met the qualification requirement:

Type of Qualification Period Granted From Date Of Decision
PhD or other doctoral qualification 3 years
All other qualifications 2 years
What are the conditions of grant of Graduate route visa?

The grant will be subject to all the following conditions:

  • no access to public funds; and
  • work (including self-employment and voluntary work) is permitted, apart from work as a professional sportsperson; and
  • study is permitted, except study with an education provider which is a Student sponsor, and which would meet the approved qualification and level of study requirements of the Student route which are set out in Appendix Student; and
  • study is subject to the ATAS condition in Appendix ATAS; and
  • if Part 10 applies the person will be required to register with the police.

FAQs - Switching Into Skilled Worker Visa

Can I switch from ICT visa to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK?

Yes, you can switch from ICT or Tier 2 ICT visa to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK without any cooling off period. Your qualifying time for ILR will start from the time when you switch into Skilled Worker visa and you cannot combine the time previously spent on Tier 2 ICT visa when applying for ILR as a Skilled Worker.

Can I apply for switching into Skilled Worker visa using Priority or Super Priority Service?

You can apply for switching into Skilled Worker visa using Home Office UKVI Priority or Super Priority Service. If you apply using Priority Service, your application will be decided within 5 working days from the date of biometrics enrolment. If you apply using Super Priority Service, your application will normally be decided within 24 hours of biometrics enrolment.

Who is not permitted to switch into Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK?

You cannot apply to switch to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK if you are currently in the UK:

You must leave the UK and apply for a Skilled Worker visa from abroad if you are in one of the above listed visa categories.

According to Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents, "You’ll be able to submit an application form from within the UK, whereas you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country."

In light of the UKVI Covid-19 Guidance, a visitor can switch into Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK if his job is starting soon with the Skilled Worker sponsor.

Can I switch from Student visa to Skilled Worker visa without completing a degree course?

A student can switch into Skilled Worker visa without completing a degree course in the UK. However, if the student applies without completing a degree, the Student will not be able to apply as a new entrant unless the student is under the age of 26.

Can I switch from spouse visa to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK?

Yes, you can switch from spouse visa to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK if you are offered a skilled job by a UK employer holding Skilled Worker sponsor licence. If your prospective employer does not hold the sponsor licence, we can provide the required legal help and assistance with an application for sponsor licence so that your employer is able to sponsor your leave to remain under the Skilled Worker visa category.

Can I switch from Dependant visa to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK?

If you are in the UK as a dependent partner of a Student or Worker visa holder, you can apply for switching into Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK if you have a job offer for a skilled job from a UK employer holding skilled worker sponsor licence.

If your prospective employer does not hold the sponsor licence, we can provide the required legal help and assistance with an application for sponsor licence so that your employer is able to sponsor your leave to remain under the Skilled Worker visa category.

Can I work part time on Skilled Worker visa?

No, you cannot work part time on skilled worker visa. The job must be a full time job which means you should be sponsored to work for at least 30 hours per week. If you are sponsored to work for less than 30 hours per week, your application for Skilled Worker visa may be refused by the Home Office, UKVI.

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