For skilled worker visa holders who wish to continue working in the UK with the same employer after their existing visa expires, it is important to apply to extend or renew their visa in a timely manner. The skilled worker visa extension requirements include meeting the relevant eligibility requirements, such as the minimum salary requirement and identity document, and working in the same occupation code with the same sponsoring employer. Skilled migrant workers who have lived and worked in the UK with permission for 12 months or more may also be eligible for citizenship application services. Additionally, there is the possibility of applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK under the skilled worker category. While the cost of a skilled worker visa renewal may vary depending on the length of stay and occupation, it is important for applicants to be aware of the fees and biometric residence permit requirements. It is crucial to keep in mind the requirements and timeline for a successful skilled worker visa extension or renewal to avoid any gaps in employment or status in the UK.


Skilled Worker Visa renewal requirements

In most cases, a Skilled Worker visa holder is eligible to apply for an extension if they are working in the same job role and occupation code as when they were granted their previous permission, and their current employer is still approved by the UK Home Office to sponsor skilled workers.

Furthermore, if the migrant worker has been living and working in the UK with permission for 12 months or more at the time of their renewal application, they will meet the financial requirement under the Skilled Worker route and do not need to demonstrate funds of at least £1,270.

What is the processing times for a skilled worker visa extension application

Typically, it takes approximately 8 weeks for the Home Office to process and make a decision on a Skilled Worker visa extension application. However, in some cases, the processing time may exceed this duration for various reasons, such as the need to verify supporting documents, conduct an interview, or assess personal circumstances, including criminal convictions.

If the applicant is pressed for time, they may opt for a faster decision by paying for the Home Office’s priority service. The Priority Service attracts a fee of £500 and guarantees a decision within 5 working days. Alternatively, the Super Priority Service, which costs £800, guarantees a decision within one working day for appointments scheduled on weekdays, and two working days for appointments scheduled on weekends.

What is the cost of renewing a Skilled Worker visa?

The cost of renewing a Skilled Worker visa is subject to the applicant’s circumstances and the length of their intended stay in the UK. Typically, the cost will include an application fee, along with a healthcare surcharge of £624 for each year of their stay. Additionally, an applicant may incur a biometric submission fee of £19.20.

For visa extension applications made from within the UK, the standard application fees range from £719 per person for up to three years and £1,423 per person for more than three years. However, if the applicant’s job is on the UK’s shortage occupation list, the application fee will be lower, set at £479 for up to three years and £943 for more than three years.


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It is the applicant’s responsibility to cover the application fee, healthcare surcharge, and any biometric fee. However, as the applicant’s UK sponsor, you will be required to pay an Immigration Skills Charge each time you assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to an individual on the Skilled Worker visa route. The amount payable is dependent on the size of your organization and the length of the migrant worker’s employment with you, as stated on their CoS. The cost is £364 for the first 12 months and £182 for each additional 6-month period for small and charitable sponsors. For medium and large sponsors, the cost is £1,000 and £500, respectively. To be classified as a small sponsor, your organization’s annual turnover should be £10.2 million or less, its total assets should be worth £5.1 million or less, and/or it should have 50 or fewer employees.

Extending your visa with a new employer

If a Skilled Worker visa holder has changed their job or sponsor, they cannot apply to extend their visa and must instead apply to update it. In order to be eligible for an update, the new job must meet the relevant eligibility requirements, and a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed sponsor will be required as proof. If the migrant worker has been in the UK for less than a year, they will need to provide additional evidence to show they meet the requirements. It is also necessary to update the visa if the migrant worker takes on a second job, changes occupation code, or moves from a Shortage Occupation role to a non-Shortage Occupation role. The application to update the visa can be made online up to 3 months before starting the new job, and the migrant worker can continue to work in their current job during the application process. This update is crucial for the migrant worker to remain in compliance with their visa requirements, as it ensures that their visa accurately reflects their current employment situation.

How does the Skilled Worker visa renewal process work for dependants?

Dependants of skilled migrant workers are required to apply separately to extend their visa. They have the option to apply simultaneously with the primary applicant or at any time before their current visa expires. This applies to all children, including those who turn 18 during their stay.

Dependants should apply online and use the Skilled Worker visa extension application number of their partner or parent, known as a Global Web Form (GWF) or Unique Application Number (UAN). These numbers can be found in emails and letters received from UKVI.

As part of the application process, dependants must verify their identity by either attending a UKVCAS appointment or using the online ID check app to scan their identity document. Instructions will be provided upon application. Similar to the primary applicant, dependants of the skilled migrant worker should not leave the UK until they receive a decision from UKVI, which typically takes around 8 weeks.


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Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain

If you’re a Skilled Worker with a valid visa extension, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. ILR is a form of permanent residency that grants the right to live and work in the UK on a long-term basis, without restrictions or limits.

To qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have held a valid Skilled Worker visa for at least five years

  2. Be continuously resident in the UK for at least five years

  3. Show evidence of good character

  4. Prove that you are proficient in the English language

  5. Meet the financial requirements

  6. Not have any absences from the UK that exceed 180 days in any 12 months during the five-year qualifying period

Once you have met all of the eligibility requirements, you will need to complete an application form and provide evidence to support your claim. You will also be required to pay an application fee. If your application is successful, you will be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, which will be valid for five years. After this period, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship.

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Frequently asked questions

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