Changing jobs on a skilled worker visa
If you change your job on a skilled worker visa, you must re-apply for a skilled worker visa with a new certificate of sponsorship. This is generally known as a change of employment application under the skilled worker visa route.
When does an applicant need to make a change of employment application under a skilled worker visa?
A person must make a change of employment application if they:
- change employer
- remain with the same employer and
- change their core duties which means their new job is in a different occupation code than the one stated on their original certificate of sponsorship
- change their core duties which means they change jobs from one currently included in the Appendix Shortage Occupation List to one that is not included
When a person does not need to make a change of employment application?
A person does not need to make a change of employment application if:
- they are staying with the same employer and changing their job to one in the same occupation code, and the change does not mean moving from a job included in the Appendix Shortage Occupation List to one which is not included
- their basic pay increases
- they are moving under either:
Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) arrangements o equivalent statutory transfer schemes
the Cabinet Office Statement of Practice on Staff Transfers in the Public Sector
- they are still working in the same occupation code and they would still score 70 points if they were to make a new Skilled Worker application
- their pay was reduced or stopped during a period of absence of less than 4 weeks in a calendar year or (if longer than 4 weeks in a calendar year) for a reason listed in paragraph 9.30.1. of Part 9 of the Immigration Rules
- their salary is reduced, but they would still score 70 points if they were to make a new Skilled Worker application under the rules currently in place (based on the information we already have available – they could not, for example, reduce their salary below £26,200 based on a relevant PhD qualification, if this did not form part of their previous application)
- their salary is reduced because of a temporary reduction in their hours for individual health reasons, or a phased return to work for individual health reasons – in either case, this must be supported by an occupational health assessment and their hourly pay must not fall below any requirement which
applied when their current permission was granted
Sponsors must still notify UKVI of any of the above changes (other than basic pay increases due to annual increments or temporary salary reductions permitted under the Sponsor guidance).
If the applicant has been subject to a transfer under TUPE (or similar as listed above), the Sponsor Licensing Unit (SLU) will check the transfer was done correctly.
Considering a change of employment application
You must consider a change of employment application in the same way as an initial application.
The applicant must:
- provide a new CoS from their new sponsor
- meet all the suitability and eligibility requirements
Update your visa if you change job or employer
You’ll need to apply to update your Skilled Worker or Tier 2 (General) work visa if:
- you want to change your job and your new job is with a different employer
- your job changes to a different occupation code, and you’re not in a graduate training program
- you leave a job that’s on the shortage occupation list for a job that is not on the list
When to apply to update your visa?
You can apply to update your visa up to 3 months before the start date of your new job.
You can continue working in your current job while your new application is being considered, or to work out your notice period – as long as you apply before your current visa expires.
You should not start your new job until you’ve got confirmation of your new permission.
What if My New Employer Does Not Have a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence?
Our skilled worker sponsor licence lawyers can help your employer to obtain a skilled worker sponsor licence from the Home Office. You can read some of our sponsor licence success stories here.
Sponsor Licence applications are usually processed within 8 weeks after sending all the documents to the sponsorship team at the Home Office. There is a priority service where applications are considered within 10 working days (two weeks). The fee for the priority service is £500 per request and only a maximum of 10 requests will be accepted each day from Monday to Friday.
When Should I Resign From My Current Role?
It is important that you continue working with your current employer while waiting for a decision on changing the employment application for a skilled worker visa. You should not start working with your new employer before your skilled worker visa application is approved.
You can book an appointment with our skilled worker visa lawyers for detailed advice regarding changing employment on a skilled worker visa.
Apply to update your skilled worker visa
You must apply online. Once you’ve started your application, you can save your form and complete it later.
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