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How to switch from Youth Mobility to Skilled Worker visa

In many cases it is possible to switch from a Youth Mobility visa (formally the T5 youth mobility visa) to a Skilled Worker visa (previous known as the Tier 2 visa).

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    What is the Youth Mobility visa?

    The Youth Mobility scheme visa replaced the Tier 5 Youth Mobility UK Working Holiday Visa system and is designed to allow young people aged between 18-30 to live, work, study and travel in the UK for up to two years. Holders are able to leave the UK and return freely.

    However, the main limitations of the Youth Mobility Scheme visa is that it can not be extended and you are not able to bring dependents with you. Therefore, those wishing to remain the UK and bring family members or gain British citizen would need to transfer to another visa.

    Student visa

    What is a Skilled Worker Visa?

    The Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. This permit allows eligible applicants to stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved sponsor/employer.

    If you wish to switch from a Youth Mobility visa then you are required to met the new Skilled Worker route requirements which are:

    • You must be aged 18 or over
    • You need a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for the job you are going to do
    • Your job is a genuine vacancy and has a valid occupation code
    • Your role is at an appropriate skill level
    • You will be paid a salary which equals or exceeds the general salary requirements threshold and the ‘going rate’ for your role
    • Your sponsor has paid the required Immigration Skills Charge
    • You must be able to demonstrate your English language proficiency
    • You can financially sustain yourself and your family without relying on public funds
    • You can provide a criminal record certificate
    • You can provide a valid TB certificate (this may vary depending on your national country)

    Eligible roles for a Skilled Worker visa

    One of the aims of the Skilled Worker visa is to encourage workers with high skills to enter the labour market.

    Therefore to qualify for a Skilled Worker valid visa, your job must be on the list of the immigration service’s eligible occupations. The jobs on this list all require skills that are at least RQF level 3.

    If your role and job offer is eligible, according to the immigration rules, then you will need to ensure the position meets the general salary threshold for a Skilled worker visa. Currently applicants for the skilled worker route will need to secure a role with a salary of £25,600 per year or at least the ‘going rate’. There are different rates for positions, especially those jobs within in the education and healthcare sectors. However, employees must still receive at least £20,480 per year or at least £10.10 per hour and for some roles the salary requirement is reduced to between 70 per cent and 90 per cent of the going rate for your role.

    Job roles are not required by UK immigration law to meet the salary criteria if the positions or skilled workers meet the following requirements:

    • the job is in a shortage occupation and listed on the shortage occupation list
    • under 26, studying or a recent graduate, or in professional training scheme
    • have a STEM PhD level qualification that’s relevant to the job (if you have a relevant PhD level qualification in any other subject, your salary must be at least £23,040)
    • a postdoctoral position in science or higher education

    Do you need help applying for a UK skilled worker visa? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

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      How to apply for a Skilled Worker visa

      You can apply online for a new Skilled Worker visa application online and you must do it before your current visa expires.

      The application for skilled worker visas requires applicants to be able to prove their identity. As part of your application, you will need to prove your identity. The easiest way to do this is via the UK Immigration ID Check app or you can attend an appointment at a local visa application centre. Part of this process will involve having your photograph and fingerprints taken.

      As well as the application form you will need to submit various supporting documents to prove that you meet the immigration system requirements for the Skilled Worker visa route. If your documents are not in English or Welsh then you will need to have them officially translated before you submit them.

      It is essential the application form is successfully completed and the correct documentation supplied otherwise it could result in delays to your visa being granted. Therefore, it may be worth seeking expert advice when embarking on the application process.

      It can take around 3 weeks for your application to be processed if you are switching from a Youth Mobility scheme visa to a Skilled Worker visa and are applying from within the UK.

      English Language requirements for a Skilled Worker visa

      The Skilled Worker visa application requires applicants to prove they have a level of English language proficiency. Evidence of suitable language skills include:

      • Taking and passing a Secure English Language Test from an approved education provider. The test must be at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
      • Hold a valid academic certificate in English such as a GCSE or A-level and the qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD.

      How much does a Skilled Worker visa cost?

      The cost of a Skilled Worker route visa does vary depending on individual circumstances and can be lower if your job is on the shortage occupation list. Therefore, the application fee ranges from £625 to £1,423. You must also pay the annual NHS healthcare surcharge of £624 and you must also meet the financial requirements to support itself on arrival in the UK.

      Does a Skilled Worker visa lead to ILR?

      You are able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after you have spent five years in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa and your circumstances have not changed.

      Once granted ILR you are able to stay in the country without being subjected to immigration conditions and eventually you can apply for British citizenship.

      How can London Immigration Lawyers help?

      Our team of experienced London immigration lawyers understand the immense importance of securing Indefinite Leave to Remain. It is a pivotal step in the journey towards British citizenship, and we can guide you every step of the process. Luckily, our immigration lawyers are here to help.

      Our immigration lawyers offer a fast-track application service that will make sure your Skilled Work Dependent Visa application is completed and submitted quickly. Our lawyers can work around the clock to ensure that your deadline is met. They can fill in the application form on your behalf and help you to gather all of the documents that you will require.

      For more information about the Visa application process, or how we can help you to apply, get in touch today on 020 4502 8582.

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