UK Skilled Worker Visa Extension
Sometimes called the Tier 2 Work Visa UK, the Skilled Worker Visa can be extended. If you have been living in the UK under a Skilled Worker visa, you will be able to apply for an extension if your circumstances haven’t changed significantly.
You can live in the UK for up to five years before your immigration permission expires.
To be eligible, you will need to be an employee of the same company which sponsored your first Skilled Worker visa application.
Who is eligible for a UK Skilled Worker visa extension?
The first thing to bear in mind is that you must apply for the visa extension before your current visa expires. If you work in the UK and overstay your visa, this could have an impact on any future UK immigration applications you make.
You will need to be assigned a new certificate of sponsorship as part of the extension process.
The main conditions for a Skilled Worker visa extension are as follows:
- You have the same job as when you were issued your previous immigration permission to enter or stay in the UK
- You are still working for the employer who assigned your certificate of sponsorship
- You are still earning an ‘appropriate salary’. This means that you are being paid at least at the minimum salary threshold for your position
Bear in mind that you cannot apply for a visa extension in South Africa (or anywhere else outside the UK), you must be living in the UK to do so.
Note that in 2024, the UK government raised the minimum salary threshold for the Skilled Worker visa from £26,200 to £38,700. However, this only applies to brand-new applicants; those who already have a Skilled Worker visa, or applicants who have applied before the new threshold came into effect are not subject to the higher threshold when they apply or extend their visas or settle in the UK.
What are the points requirements?
To be eligible for an extension, you must score at least 70 points in the points-based system. This is the same requirement which you need to fulfil when you make your first Skilled Worker visa application. The points can be accrued in an identical manner to your first application.
Ultimately, if your job has not changed significantly and you wish to remain in the role, you should be able to meet this requirement straightforwardly.
The points requirement can be fulfilled through the following:
- Certificate of sponsorship: 30 points
- Appropriate salary for your job role: 20 points
- Have enough maintenance funds: 10 points
- English language at the required level: 10 points
You can continue working whilst your extension application is being processed (provided your previous leave hasn’t expired).
Which documents will I need to provide to extend my UK Skilled Worker Visa?
You will need to provide certain information and documents as part of the application process. Typically, you won’t need to provide as much information as you did in your original application.
Some of the information you may need to provide includes:
- Your current passport or another valid travel document
- Any expired passports
- Your current visa or leave to remain document/information
- Information about your immigration history
- Your certificate of sponsorship number
Bear in mind that you will need to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) at a visa application centre if you haven’t already provided them.
Our UK immigration lawyers can help you with your visa extension application.
We can help you to prepare your information and documents and we will also complete your renewal application form.
Call us now on 0333 305 3612 to find out more about how we can help you to extend your stay in the UK.
Change of employment application
You will need to make a change of employment application if you wish to change your employer. Your new employer must assign you a new certificate of sponsorship and your new job role will need to meet the points requirements.
Also, in some circumstances, you might be required to make a change of employment application, even if you are still working for the same employer.
You might be required to make a change of employment application if:
- There is a change in your core duties which means you change jobs, and the new job is in a different Standard Occupational (SOC) code to the one stated on your certificate of sponsorship
- You have been working in a shortage occupation, but there has been a significant change in your core duties such as a change of jobs or a new job which is not on the shortage occupation list. (You must still be working for the same employer)
- You were earning at least £159,600 and your salary has been reduced to an amount lower than the threshold
In these circumstances, you would need to be assigned a new certificate of sponsorship and meet all the points requirements.
You do not need to make a new application if:
- Your job is the same, but it is taken off the shortage occupation list
- You are changing to a different job within the same SOC code, but it is with the same employer
What is the Tier 2 Work visa extension application fee?
The fee for a visa extension depends on the type of job you have and the visa you originally applied for.
As of February 2023, the fees are as follows:
- Up to three years: £719 to extend
- Up to three years shortage occupation: £479 to extend
- More than three years: £1,423 to extend
- More than three years shortage occupation: £943 to extend
How long does it take?
You can expect to receive a decision on your application within eight weeks of submitting it.
You will be contacted if there are any problems with your application. For example, you might be contacted if the Home Office in the UK requires some of your supporting documents to be verified.
If you require a quick decision on your application, you could opt for the priority or super priority service.
- Priority service: Application processed within five working days at additional cost of £500
- Super priority service: Application processed within one working day at an additional cost of £800
When can I apply for UK settlement?
You can remain in the UK for up to six years under a Skilled Worker visa, which includes extensions.
UK immigration rules stipulate that someone can be eligible for settled status after they have spent five years lawfully living in the UK.
Once you have spent five years living in the UK with a Skilled Worker visa, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status. Indefinite Leave to Remain is a form of permanent residence, which means you can remain in the UK without any restrictions imposed as an ILR holder.
It is important to note that you will not automatically receive Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years – you need to complete an Indefinite Leave to Remain application.
You must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in a 12-month period during your UK residency if you want to apply for ILR.
After you have spent one year in the UK living under Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will be eligible for British citizenship, provided your circumstances haven’t changed significantly.
Our UK immigration lawyers can help with both Indefinite Leave to Remain and British citizenship applications. You can call us on 0333 305 3612 to find out more about the requirements for both ILR and British citizenship.
Last modified on January 30th, 2024 at 12:31 pm
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As a Tier 2 General visa applicant, your job offer must be paying an appropriate salary. The appropriate salary varies depending on the job and the level of experience which the applicant has.
Generally speaking, those who are less experienced and classed as ‘new entrants’ must be paid at or a minimum salary of at least £20,800.
Those who are classed as experienced must be paid a minimum salary of at least £30,000 or the appropriate rate salary based on the SOC code, whichever is highest.
To find out the minimum salary requirements pertaining to your role and circumstances, please do not hesitate to call our UK immigration lawyers on…
Yes, it is possible to apply for an extension for your dependents too. It is prudent to make this application at the same time as your own, rather than completing applications at different times.
You will need to pay the same fee as yourself for each dependent when you apply to extend the visa.
Yes, it is possible to extend all of the UK worker visas, not just the Skilled Worker visa.
You can extend the Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer Visa, Minister of Religion or Sportsperson visa’s.
The requirements for an extension differ slightly for each. Our immigration lawyers can advise you based on your personal circumstances.