Can I Switch My Tier 2 ICT Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa?
With the new Skilled Worker visa now having replaced the old Tier 2 (General) visa there are several changes which will be relevant to those present in the UK on the old Tier 2 system. One of the most common questions we get asked is whether individuals currently present on a Tier 2 (ICT) visa will be able to switch to the new Skilled Worker visa.
Under the previous system, it was generally not possible to switch from a Tier 2 (ICT) visa to a Tier 2 (General) visa in-country and applicants hoping to make the switch were also subject to a 12-month cooling off period which must be spent outside the UK. Tier 2 (ICT) also contained no route to settlement, unlike the Tier 2 (General) route and the new Skilled Worker visa which allows individuals to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after 5 years of continuous residence.
Thankfully under the new system, the 12-month cooling off period has been abolished and applicants will be able to apply to switch in country provided they have not spent more than 5 out of the past 6 years present on a Tier 2 (ICT) visa.
Switch to this visa
You might be able to apply to change (‘switch’) to a Skilled Worker visa if you’re already in the UK on a different type of visa.
Your partner or child’s visa will not automatically switch to this visa if you switch yours. If they do not switch their visa, it will be valid until its original end date.
They can either apply at the same time as you, or at any time before their current visa expires.
You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.
Who cannot apply to switch to this visa
You cannot apply to switch to this visa if you’re currently in the UK:
- on a visit visa
- on a short-term student visa
- on a Parent of a Child Student visa
- on a seasonal worker visa
- on a domestic worker in a private household visa
- on immigration bail
- because you were permitted to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds
You must leave the UK and apply for a Skilled Worker visa from abroad if you’re in one of these categories.
Applicants hoping to switch will still have to be sponsored in their new role and must meet the English Language requirements, which they may not have had to demonstrate when they applied for their Tier 2 (ICT) visa. It should be noted that time spent on a Tier 2 (ICT) visa will not be counted towards the 5-year residence period required for settlement in the UK on the Skilled Worker route. The clock will start from the date of issue of the Skilled Worker visa.
If you have a job offer in the UK and your company requires help with either the visa application process or the sponsor license application process we can help. Get in touch with us on 01403 801 801 or [email protected] for a consultation.