• +44 (0)20 3411 1261
  • info@visaandmigration.com
uk visa enquiry
UK Visa
 /   /  Visa Switching Rules

Get In Touch



Services

Testimonial

Approvals

See All
OISC

Visa Switching Rules


Do you need to apply for a Visa Switching Rules?
Speak to our experts to find out about our fast, friendly and affordable service

Switching’ basically means whether you can change your visa from one category to another. The UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) keep changing the rules so it is important to know whether you can submit the application from one category to another. The confusion in relation to switching can lead to an applicant making an incorrect application which is likely to result in the application being refused.  It is therefore very important to know the switching rules.However you can always make an application for discretionary leave to remain in the UK if you are able to satisfy the UKVI that your circumstances are compassionate and compelling

Switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur


a) Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

Nationals of non–EEA countries can apply under this category if they have existing leave to remain as:

  • a Tier 1 (General) Migrant
  • a Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant
  • a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant
  • a Tier 2 Migrant
  • a Work Permit Holder
  • Tier 1 PSW (provided that your business was trading before 11 July 2014)
  • Student or Tier 4 Visa (with specific funding)
  • a Prospective Entrepreneur
  • Please note that no one else is permitted to switch into Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) while they are in the UK and will have to seek entry clearance from the country of origin.

b) Tier 1 (Investor)

Nationals of non–EEA countries can apply under this category if they have existing leave to remain as:

  • a Tier 1 (General) Migrant
  • a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant
  • a Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) Migrant
  • a Tier 2 Migrant
  • a Tier 4 Migrant
  • a Work Permit Holder

Please note that no one else is permitted to switch into Tier 1 (Investor) while they are in the UK and will have to seek entry clearance from the country of origin

c) Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

Nationals of non–EEA countries can apply under this category if they have existing leave to remain as

  • a Tier 2 (General) Migrant
  • a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Migrant, sponsored in the Government Authorised Exchange sub-category in an exchange scheme for sponsored researchers.

Please note that no one else is permitted to switch into Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) while they are in the UK and will have to seek entry clearance from the country of origin.

d) Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

Nationals of non-EEA countries may apply to switch into the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category without leaving the UK only if they are in the UK as a Tier 4 migrant or student and satisfy the specified criteria.

Switching into Tier 2


a) Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (Sportsperson) and Tier (Minister of Religion)

Nationals of non–EEA countries can apply under this category if they have existing leave to remain as

  • a Tier 1 Migrant
  • a Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
  • a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
  • a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) in the Creative and Sporting sub-category, for a job as a professional footballer
  • a Member of Operational Ground Staff of an overseas owned Airline
  • a Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order
  • a Qualifying Work Permit Holder
  • a Representative of an Overseas Newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting organization
  • a Representative of an Overseas Business
  • a Tier 4 student
  • Dependant partner of a Tier 4 migrant
  • a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant where they have previously had leave as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant under the Rules in place before 6 April 2010, or in the Established Staff sub-category under the Rules in place before 6 April 2011

A Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant must not be applying to continue working for the same employer.If you are switching from a Tier 4 category, you must have successfully completed a course 

which lasted at least one academic year during your most recent period of Tier 4 visa.Please note that no one else is permitted to switch to Tier 2 (General) while remaining in the UK and has to seek entry clearance from their country of origin.

b) Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer – Long Term Staff)

Nationals of non–EEA countries can apply under this category if they have existing leave to remain as:

  1. a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant in the Long Term Staff sub-category, or
  2. a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant in the established Staff sub-category under the Rules in place before 6 April 2011, or
  3. a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant granted under the Rules in place before 6 April 2010, or
  4. a Qualifying Work Permit Holder, provided that the work permit was granted because the applicant was the subject of an Intra-Company Transfer, or
  5. as a representative of an overseas Business.

No one else is permitted to switch to Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer - Long Term Staff) while in the UK and will have to seek entry clearance from their country of origin.

Switching into the other Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) sub-categories, e.g. Short Term Staff, is not permitted inside the UK

Switching Into Tier 5


a) Tier 5 (Youth Mobility)

No one is permitted to switch to Tier 5 (Youth Mobility) whilst remaining in the UK. All applicants can make an application from outside the UK from where they have been legally residing for more than 6 months if the British Diplomatic post concerned is allowed to accept such applications.

b) Tier 5 (Creative & Sporting) Temporary Workers

Only a sports or entertainer visitor is entitled to apply to switch into the Tier 5 (Temporary worker) Creative and Sporting subcategory, provided they have valid certificate of sponsorship issued to them before coming to the UK. No one else is permitted to switch to this category while inside the UK.

c) Tier 5 (Religious Workers) Temporary Workers

No one is permitted to switch to Tier 5 (Religious Workers) while in the UK. All the prospective applicants can only make such application from their country of their origin.

d) Tier 5 (Charity Workers) Temporary Workers

No one can switch to Tier 5 (Charity workers) whilst remaining in the UK. All the prospective applicants can only make such application from their country of their origin

e) Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) Temporary Workers

A Qualifying Work Permit Holder is allowed to switch into the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) Temporary Worker sub-category, provided that the applicant was previously issued with a work permit for the purpose of employment as a sponsored researcher and has been granted a COS to continue this employment.The Immigration Rules have recently changed and they allow selective switching for students in Tier 4 who have completed degrees in the UK to undertake corporate internships directly related to their degrees. These internships take place in the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange sub-category. As with any work experience scheme in this subcategory, roles must be supernumerary and stay is restricted to a period of 12 months. Switching into Tier 2 at the end of the internship is not allowed and entry clearance application should be submitted from outside the UK.

f) Tier 5 (International Agreements) Temporary Workers

A Qualifying Work Permit Holder is allowed to switch into the Tier 5 (International Agreements) Temporary Worker sub-category, provided the certificate of sponsorship shows that individual is being sponsored in the Government Authorised Exchange sub-category and will be continuing in employment with the same organisation.

An Overseas Government Employee is allowed to switch into the Tier 5 (International Agreements) Temporary Worker sub-category as long as they will be working for the same government organisation in the UK.Please note that all other switching into the Tier 5 (Temporary worker) subcategories is not allowed.

Switching Into Tier 4 Student


Nationals of non–EEA countries can apply under this category if they have existing leave to remain as:

  • a Tier 4 (Child) Student
  • a Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) Migrant
  • a Tier 2 Migrant
  • a Work Permit Holder.

Please note that no one else is allowed to switch to the Tier 4 student category while remaining in the UK - that includes the dependants of the above mentioned.

Switching into Spouse Visa


a) Spouse - civil partner of a person present and settled in the UK

Anyone above the age of 18 years who has initially been given entry clearance or leave to remain in any category for more than 6 months is able to switch into this category if they are married or formed a civil partnership. The only exception to this rule is a person having limited leave as a fiancé/e or proposed civil partner, who can switch into a spouse or civil partner visa after getting married inside the UK.  Visitors have right to remain in the UK for 6 months they cannot therefore switch into a spouse or civil partner visa whilst remaining in the UK.

b) Becoming dependent of Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4, Tier 5 or some other leave.

Applicant cannot become a dependent inside the UK (except where the Points Based Migrant has, or is being granted, leave to remain as a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Migrant in the creative and sporting subcategory on the basis of having met the requirement at paragraph 245ZQ(b)(ii) of the Immigration Rules).  Applicants will have to seek entry clearance from outside the UK in order to enter and join their spouses.  Although the marriage can take place in the UK.

c) Spouse or Family member of an EEA national exercising his/her Treaty Rights in the UK

Applicants can switch into this category even if they are in the UK Illegally or on a visitor visa. The only exception is applicable if you are switching to unmarried/durable partner under EEA Regulation in the UK you will not be allowed unless there are children involved or the UKVI is willing to exercise discretion. Therefore we strongly advise you to seek advice from Immigration advisers.

Switching into Unmarried Partner Visa


a) Unmarried Partner of a person present and settled in the UK

Anyone above 18 years of age can switch into this category provided that they have lived in the UK with a person present and settled in a relationship akin to marriage. However necessary for that person to have valid leave to remain in the UK for more than six months. There are also other relevant requirements in this type of application that must be fulfilled for which you can contact one of our advisers.

b) Unmarried Partners of (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 5 or some other leave)

You will need to seek entry clearance to become a dependent as an Unmarried partner provided that you have lived together to 2 years together.

Why Choose Us?


  • You pay a Fixed Fee;
  • Our immigration adviser will take Detailed Instructions from you and advise you about the relevant immigration law and procedure to be adopted by the Immigration Authorities in your immigration case;
  • Our immigration adviser represent your circumstances clearly;
  • Our immigration adviser will discuss your immigration case in detail with you and advise you about the weaknesses and strengths of your immigration case;
  • Our immigration adviser will advise you about the documentary evidence to be submitted in support of your application;
  • Our immigration adviser will consider contents of the documentary evidence to be submitted in support of the application and discuss the same with you;
  • You Receive advise from our experienced caseworkers;
  • We provide our client’s with unlimited meetings and support;
  • We provide our client’s with unlimited phone calls;
  • We advise you on the procedure, requirements and merits of making an application to the UKBA/British Diplomatic post;
  • We keep our client’s updated with new rules and procedure and act in their best interest;
  • We draft representations in support of your immigration matter explaining your circumstances in detail and proving how you satisfy the requirements of Immigration Rules;
  • We advise and represent our clients’ dependants to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant;
  • We lodge appeals and prepare administrative reviews;
  • We advise you on the future applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain and British Citizenship for those who will complete required number of years in the UK;
  • We answer your queries even after your application has been submitted and approved on what you are required to next.

Do you need to apply for a Visa Switching Rules?
Speak to our experts to find out about our fast, friendly and affordable service

Get In Touch



Services

Testimonial

Approvals

See All
OISC
We specialise exclusively in UK Immigration and Nationality Law. We are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner(OISC). We provide immigration services to clients from worldwide. Immigration law is complex and with the rules constantly changing we strongly recommend that you use specialists to support and represent you from the start. Call us now for an honest opinion of your case, possible costs and options.

Quick links

Visaandmigration.com

The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 2ER
+44 (0)20 3411 1261
+44 (0)20 3761 1901
info@visaandmigration.com

India Office:
E501 Jagaran Apartments, Dwarka Sector 22, New Delhi, India
09311964480

Newsletter