Switching from a Skilled Worker visa to a Spouse/Partner visa

30 Nov 2022, 34 mins ago

If you are in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa (previously known as a Tier 2 General visa) and you are in a relationship, you may be eligible to switch to a Spouse/ Partner visa under Appendix Family Members of the Immigration Rules. 

As you consider your options, you will need to ensure you meet the various requirements of a Spouse/ Partner visa (which we discuss in our previous blog) and that ultimately, switching is the right decision for you. There are various advantages and disadvantages to switching to the Spouse/Partner visa, which we discuss briefly in this blog. 

Firstly, in order to be eligible to apply for a Spouse/ Partner visa, you must either be married to your partner or have lived with your partner throughout the last 2 years. Your partner must be either:

  • A British citizen
  • Settled, i.e. holds Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK
  • A holder of Pre-Settled or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme

Is switching beneficial?

On a potentially positive note, a Spouse/Partner visa is not tied to your employment, unlike a Skilled Worker visa, so it may offer you greater freedom and flexibility. You will not be sponsored by a company, and although you will be permitted to work, you will not be required to do so. Instead, your visa will be tied to your relationship with your partner and will be dependent on your relationship continuing to be genuine and subsisting. 

However, you should also consider the implications of switching in regard to when you will become eligible for ILR. Generally speaking, and subject to meeting eligibility criteria, you should be able to apply for ILR after 5 years of continuous residence as a Skilled Worker or as a Spouse/Partner. However, if you are switching from a Skilled Worker visa to a Spouse/ Partner visa, you cannot carry over time spent in the former category; the 5-year period will start again once you are granted a Spouse/ Partner visa. 

It is therefore important to consider your own personal circumstances and motivations for switching to ensure it is the right decision for you. 

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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