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Making a Skilled Worker Visa Extension
Skilled Worker visas are issued for a period of up to 5 years. The Skilled Worker visa route has replaced the Tier 2 (General) route. If existing Tier 2 (General) visa holders wish to extend their current visa, this will now be done under the Skilled Worker requirements alongside existing Skilled Worker visa holders.
General Eligibility Requirements for an Extension
To be eligible to extend a Tier 2 (General) work visa or Skilled Worker visa, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:
- They must have the same job as when they were given their previous permission to enter or remain in the UK.
- The job must be in the same occupation code as it was when they were given their previous permission to enter or remain in the UK.
- They must still be working for the same employer who gave them their current certificate of sponsorship and that employer must be approved by the UK Home Office to sponsor skilled workers.
Financial Requirements for an Extension
Applicants will automatically satisfy the financial requirements if they have been living or working in the UK for at least 12 months before the date of their renewal application. If this is not the case, applicants can meet the financial requirement by either:
- providing evidence that they have held funds of at least £1,270 for 28 consecutive days; or
- having their sponsor certify that they will provide for them up to the end of the first month of their employment, to an amount of at least £1,270.
When to Apply for an Extension
Generally speaking, an applicant cannot apply for an extension until they have 60 days or less left on their current visa. Individuals should apply for their extensions as early as possible after this time and any application to extend must be made before the existing visa expires.
How to Apply
To apply for a Skilled Worker visa extension, prospective applicants must complete an online application form using their certificate of sponsorship and other supporting documents.
The cost of a skilled worker visa renewal is similar to the standard skilled worker visa application and is dependent on the applicant’s job and planned length of stay in the UK. In addition to the application fee, applicants will be required to pay the healthcare surcharge (approx. £624 per year) and may have to pay a fee to have biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken (approx. £19.20).
Applicants will need to bring extensive documentation covering their stay in the UK. This may include documents relating to an applicant’s immigration history, current visa, sponsorship, address, personal savings and knowledge of the English language. The nature and number of documents required will be vary depending on the circumstances of each individual case and some applicants will be required to submit more extensive documentation than others.
To fully understand exactly which documents are necessary to support an application, applicants should always consider specialist legal advice.
Changes of Employment
If an individual wishes to extend their visa but is changing their job or employer since their last visa application, they’ll need to apply to update their visa instead of applying for an extension. The new job must satisfy the eligibility requirements and the applicant will need to obtain a new certificate of sponsorship.
How NA Law Solicitors Can Help
The Home Office review all Skilled Worker visa applications and renewals extensively. At NA Law Solicitors, we ensure that your application is prepared to the highest of standards. Our counsel will prevent any unnecessary refusals and ensure a smooth application process.
We will assist you in every step of your application and give guidance with a successful outcome in mind. Please do not hesitate to get in touch for an initial assessment.