Guide on US work visas to Nigerians, the application process, eligibility criteria, and essential tips to enhance your chances of success.

Extending Your Skilled Worker Visa

If for the last few years, you have been here in the UK based on a Skilled Worker Visa, by the time your visa expires, you must be thinking about what the next course of action could be. The better news is that you can apply for a new Skilled Worker Visa, giving you the chance to stay and be a part of the UK system. Here, we will guide you through a detailed procedure to extend the system, including its requirements and considerations.

Understanding the Skilled Worker Visa

Before representing the extension procedure, let’s just see the major components of the Skilled Worker Visa. This visa subcategory, formerly known as the Tier 2 General visa, targets highly-skilled workers seeking job opportunities in the UK. It becomes the main component of the new UK points-based immigration system, which opens an opportunity to receive the right to work within the country legally.

Skilled Worker Visa Duration

Besides the fact that the Skilled Worker Visa allows you to stay in the UK initially for up to 5 years, Nevertheless, it’s just as important to bear in mind that further employment will be subject to a valid application for an extension.

How to Apply for a Skilled Worker Visa Extension

Normally, the process of applying for a Skilled Worker Visa extension is uncomplicated., However, it necessitates meticulous planning and adherence to the due procedures. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Application Timing:

You need to apply for an extension of your visa in the UK and show evidence that you meet the requirements of the UK immigration law before your current visa expires. Avoid any problems with your application by making sure you submit it while there is still time to ensure a smooth experience in your afore sailing.

Online Application:

Refer to the dedicated official site to select and complete the online form regarding visa extensions. This form will be your guide that will allow you to enter the relevant information and documentation.

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS):

The role of your employer in the process is of utmost importance. After your employer accepts to renew your contract the next step will be the paperwork. The employer will have to apply for an unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

 The CoS is a crucial document that serves as proof of your qualification to be considered for renewal.

Proving Your Identity:

As part of the application, you’ll need to verify your identity. You have two options:

  • Visit a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVACS) service point to provide your biometric information, including fingerprints and a photograph. Upon completion, you’ll receive a biometric residence permit.
  • Utilize the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check app to scan your identity document.

Skilled Worker Visa Extension Requirements

To qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa extension, you must meet specific requirements, including:

  • Job Continuity: You must remain in the same job that you held when you were initially granted your Skilled Worker Visa.
  • Occupation Code: Your job must still fall within the same occupation code as when your original visa was issued.
  • Employer Continuity: You must continue to work for the same employer who sponsored your current Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

Additionally, you’ll need to satisfy the same criteria you met during your initial Skilled Worker Visa application. This includes obtaining a new CoS, maintaining a relevant salary for your role, providing evidence of sufficient maintenance funds, and proving your English language proficiency.

Skilled Worker Visa Extension Processing Time

The processing time for a Skilled Worker Visa extension application typically takes around eight weeks. However, certain factors may influence the processing duration:

  • Document Verification: If your supporting documents require additional verification, it could extend the processing time.
  • Interviews: In some cases, you may be required to attend an interview as part of the assessment process.
  • Personal Circumstances: If you have a criminal conviction or other personal circumstances that need scrutiny, it may cause delays.

If you’re pressed for time, you can opt for the Home Office’s priority service, which costs £500 and guarantees a decision within five working days. The Super Priority Service, priced at £800, offers a decision within one working day on weekdays or two working days on weekends.

Extending Your Visa with a New Employer

In cases where you’ve changed employment or have a new sponsor, you won’t apply for a visa extension but rather an update to your visa. To be eligible for this update, your new job must meet the requirements, and you’ll require a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your licensed sponsor as proof.

If you’ve been in the UK for less than a year, additional evidence may be necessary to demonstrate that you meet the requirements. You should also consider updating your visa if you:

  • Take on a second job that exceeds 20 hours per week.
  • Change jobs or employers.
  • The transition from a job listed on the Shortage Occupation list to one that isn’t.

The application process for updating your visa can be initiated three months before you commence your new job. During this period, you can continue working in your current role.

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

While you can stay in the UK by extending your Skilled Worker Visa, you might also consider making the UK your permanent home. Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) grants you permission to reside in the UK without time restrictions, and Skilled Worker Visa holders can become eligible for ILR after residing in the UK for at least five years. You can submit your ILR application before your current Skilled Worker Visa expires.

In addition to meeting residency requirements, other ILR criteria include passing the Life in the UK Test and meeting the appropriate English language proficiency.

Seeking Assistance with Your Visa Extension

Navigating the Skilled Worker Visa extension process can be complex, and it’s crucial to get it right. If you require support with your visa extension, consider reaching out to our offices in London, Manchester, or Birmingham. Alternatively, you can use our office finder to locate your nearest branch. Our experienced immigration experts can provide guidance, assist with the application, and ensure a smooth transition as you continue your journey in the UK.

In conclusion, extending your Skilled Worker Visa is a crucial step in your career journey in the UK. By understanding the requirements and following the application process diligently, you can secure your continued presence in this vibrant and diverse country. Whether you choose to extend your visa or pursue Indefinite Leave to Remain, the UK offers a world of opportunities for skilled workers like you.

Scroll to Top