We use cookies on this site to ensure the most desirable user experience. By continuing to browse this website you are giving implied consent. Find out more.

How to change a job under UK work visa routes – full guidance

If you came to the UK on a Tier 2 or Skilled worker visa, this means that you had been hired as a qualified specialist in your field. Therefore, in order to apply for this visa, you must have a job offer from a particular company.

The company must be licensed to employ foreign nationals and make sure they are unable to fill your position with any UK national. Besides, the job must be included in the list of jobs approved by the government.

Accordingly, a UK work visa will only be granted to you if you have already found a job, not if you are only attempting to find employment. But what do you do if, having stayed in the UK for some time, you have received a better offer?

A lot of people come to us asking this question, so experts from Imperial & Legal have drawn up detailed guidelines for you about how to deal with this issue.

What to do if you change an employer

As mentioned above, in order to get a Skilled worker visa, you need to be offered a job by a licensed sponsor. The latter provides the candidate with a certificate of sponsorship, thus taking responsibility for the employee during their stay in the UK. Obviously, when the employee quits, this liability ends with it, and the new employer becomes the responsible one.

So, if you change a job, you must inform the Home Office and submit a new certificate of sponsorship. They will check the application and issue a new permit, provided that everything is in order.

The applicant can’t leave the UK before the decision is made, otherwise the application will be cancelled. At the same time, the worker may continue working with the previous employer. But they can start a new job only after receiving an approval from the Home Office.

What to do if you have found a second job

In order to find out if a migrant is permitted to have several jobs, it is necessary to consider the following: whether the second job will require 20 hours a week at the maximum and whether it is in the same field.

If at least one of the two answers is a yes, you need to apply for a permit in the same way. The second sponsor must be licensed, issue a certificate of sponsorship and meet all the others requirements.

What do I do if I am offered an intra-company transfer?

If you are going to switch from one field to another, you will have to apply for another visa. If the job’s occupation code is the same, there is no need for that.

However, the sponsor must still inform the Home Office about the changes through the Sponsor Management System.

What do I do if my job has been excluded from the list of shortage occupations

There is a shortage occupation list in the UK. Currently, it includes the following jobs: doctors, engineers, veterinarians, geologists and many others. All the specialists on the list are entitled to better terms.

Sometimes, in accordance with the current state of affairs in the country, the list gets revised. However, if a job is excluded from the list after you have received your visa, it will have no impact on you.

Do dependants have to apply to the Home Office together with the main applicant?

Workers quite often come to the UK with their family members: a spouse and children. They can apply for a visa as the main applicant’s dependants.

According to the law, when the main applicant changes a job, the dependants must also apply for a new visa. However, there is no need to do this urgently, the deadline for them is their visa expiry date.

At the same time, you should remember that the procedure takes longer than usual because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and there are long waiting lists to submit an application. Therefore it is a good idea to apply to the Home Office as soon as you can.

Get in touch with qualified experts from Imperial & Legal, and our immigration advisors will provide any assistance with paperwork and communications with the authorities.

Tired of getting general advice?

We will work with you to find a customised solution for your immigration, second citizenship, business, tax and other needs.

Make an enquiry

One of our qualified advisors will get back to you today or next business day.

    Detailed information on how we process your data can be found on our privacy policy.