You might be eligible to apply to change or switch your visa from inside the UK depending on the type of your current visa and category you are switching to.
It is important to note that not all visa types are eligible for switching, and certain visa categories may have specific conditions or limitations regarding switching.
The specific requirements and procedures for switching visas may vary depending on the visa categories involved, as well as the individual's circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer to obtain accurate and up-to-date information regarding visa switching in the UK.
If you're already in the UK on a valid visa and want to switch to a different type of visa, contact our immigration lawyer on 0161 989 9370 for the help you need.
What is a visa switch?
Switching visas refers to the process of switching or changing from one type of visa to another within the UK.
When individuals are already in the UK on a specific visa and wish to change their immigration status, they may need to apply for a different visa category that aligns with their new circumstances or intentions. This process is generally known as "switching" or "changing" visas.
For example, someone who is in the UK on a student visa may decide to switch to a work visa after completing their studies. In such cases, they would need to submit a new work visa application, meet the eligibility requirements for the desired visa category, and provide the necessary supporting documents.
How to apply to switch your visa from inside the UK?
To switch or change your visa from inside the UK, you typically need to follow these general steps:
- Check your eligibility
- Prepare supporting documents
- Complete the application form
- Pay the application fee
- Book and attend a biometric appointment
- Submit your application
- Wait for a decision
- Receive your decision
Check your eligibility
Determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for the visa category you want to switch to. Each visa category has its own specific requirements, such as qualifications, job offers, financial criteria, or family relationships. Contact our immigration lawyer for guidance and requirements for the visa you wish to switch to.
Prepare supporting documents
Gather all the necessary supporting documents as outlined in the application requirements. This may include your current passport, visa, biometric residence permit (BRP), proof of financial means, accommodation details, and any other relevant documents specific to the visa category you are switching to.
Complete the application form
Fill out the application form for the visa you want to switch to. The application form can usually be completed online through the UK government's official website. Provide accurate and complete information in the form.
Pay the application fee
Pay the required application fee. The fee amount will depend on the specific visa category you are applying for. Please note that these fees are subject to change, and you should always check the most up-to-date information on the UK government's official website before applying for a visa.
Book and attend a biometric appointment
Schedule an appointment at a designated visa application centre to submit your biometric information, including your fingerprints and photograph. You may need to have your biometrics taken as part of the application process.
Submit your application
Compile all the required documents, including the application form, supporting documents, and proof of payment. Submit your application and supporting documents either online or by mailing them to the appropriate address as specified in the application guidelines.
Wait for a decision
After submitting your application, you will need to wait for a decision. The processing times can vary depending on the visa category and other factors. You can check the current estimated processing times on the UK government's website.
Receive your decision
Once a decision is made on your application, you will be notified of the outcome. If your application is successful, you will receive a new visa or a biometric residence permit (BRP) with the updated visa details.
Immigration lawyer for switching visas within the UK
Different types of UK visas have different requirements, so it's better to seek advice from an immigration lawyer for accurate information and eligibility assessment.
Assistance with UK visa application
As part of our immigration services for your immigration application, our expert immigration lawyer will:
- assess your eligibility for the relevant visa type by fully considering your circumstances;
- advise you on the required supporting documents to be submitted in support of your immigration application;
- assess all the documents to ensure that the documents you provide are as per the requirements of the Immigration Rules;
- advise you on strengths and potential weaknesses in your visa application and how you can overcome such weaknesses if any;
- complete the online immigration draft application form to share it with you for cross-checking;
- submit your application online and schedule your biometrics appointments with the relevant commercial partner of the UKVI;
- prepare a detailed cover letter in support of the immigration application explaining in detail how you are meeting all the requirements of the Immigration Rules so that you have the maximum chances of succeeding in your visa application;
- upload all the supporting documents online in support of the immigration application in their correct format and order;
- dealing and responding to any caseworker enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office caseworker for any further documents or information concerning your pending immigration application;
- do all the follow-up work on your immigration application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI.
Contact our experienced and friendly immigration lawyer on 0161 989 9370 or fill in our enquiry form to get reliable & confidential immigration advice and legal assistance with a UK visa application or any other immigration matter.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding switching visas within the UK:
Yes, it is generally possible to switch visas while you are already in the UK. However, the specific rules and eligibility criteria will depend on the visa category you currently hold and the one you wish to switch to.
The visa categories you can switch to will depend on your individual circumstances and the eligibility requirements for each visa. Some common examples include switching from a student visa to a work visa or switching from a work visa to a settlement (indefinite leave to remain). It is important to review the specific requirements for the visa category you want to switch to.
In most cases, you can switch visas without leaving the UK. However, there may be exceptions for certain visa categories or specific circumstances. It is recommended to consult an immigration lawyer to determine if you need to leave the UK to switch visas.
Yes, you can apply to switch visas even if your current visa is close to expiring. However, it is advisable to submit your application before your current visa expires to ensure continuity of your legal status in the UK.
In most cases, if you have already provided your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) for a previous visa application, you will not need to provide them again when switching visas. However, there may be exceptions, and it is best to seek legal advice from an experienced immigration lawyer.
It depends on the conditions of your current visa. Some visas may allow you to work or study while your switch application is under consideration, while others may have restrictions. Review the terms of your current visa or seek advice to ensure you comply with the conditions.
If your visa switch application is refused, you may need to take appropriate action based on the reasons for the refusal. This could include reapplying, appealing the decision, or considering other options. It is advisable to seek legal advice to understand your options and determine the best course of action.
No, it is generally not possible to switch directly from a Visitor Visa to a Work Visa within the UK. The UK immigration rules do not permit individuals to switch from a standard Visitor Visa (also known as a "Visit Visa") to a Work Visa category from within the UK.