Change or loss of job on a Skilled Worker visa
To be able to come to the UK in the first place to work from overseas, you must have been sponsored by licensed employer to take up specific job role. After doing so, you will have received a Certificate of Sponsorship from that employer and a number that corresponds to your highly specific job role. These codes ensure that job roles are eligible and meet Home Office requirements, such as salary and job title.
Changes to your employment that warrant action from the visa holder include:
- Changing job and your employer
- Losing your job or being fired
- Changing from a role that was on the Shortage Occupation list to one that isn’t
- Taking a job that has a different occupation code
Therefore losing your job will mean that technically you no longer meet the requirements of your original Skilled Worker visa and you must contact the Home Office to make a new application.
You will not need to apply again if you stay in the same job role but it is taken off the Shortage Occupation list.
Will I be allowed to stay in the country if I lose my job?
Skilled Worker visas usually give up to two and a half years of leave in the UK for the holder to work. However, if for whatever reason your employment has been brought to an end early, this will shorten the time you can stay in the country.
After you have lost your job, you will have 60 days leave in the UK or until the end of your visa, whichever is shorter. This means you have two months to ensure you follow the next steps.
Responsibilities of your employer
It is firstly the responsibilities of your employer to inform the Home Office of your change in employment status, redundancy etc. They must write to the Home Office within 10 days before your final working day.
You will then receive communication from the Home Office explaining the shortened leave conditions mentioned earlier. This will usually be by post. From the receipt of this letter, your 60 days leave begins.
Making a new Skilled Worker visa application
If your plan is to stay in the UK and to continue to work, you will need to apply for a new visa. To do so, all of the same eligibility requirements will have to be met. You must have received a new job offer to apply from a company that has a sponsor license to be able to offer you the role. If you do not have another job offer, you will not be accepted onto a new visa.
If you receive a job offer from a company without a sponsor licence, they may be able to get a licence within 60 days, however, this will be difficult as the process can be long-winded. If the company is willing to make the application, they can seek immigration law advice to do so.
As long as the company has their licence within your 60-day time limit and offer you a role with the required salary you could make a new application. You will not be asked to leave the country if an application is in process.
You can continue to work in your current job and finish your notice period while you make a new application if you are able to. You shouldn’t start your new job until you get a decision on your new application.
Eligiblity for your new Skilled Worker visa will remain the same as with your initial application. For a refresher, the general requirements include:
- Working for a registered UK employer that holds a sponsor licence to sponsor overseas workers to come to the UK
- Meet the minimum salary requirement, whichever is highest for the role – £25,600, £10.10 per hour or the “going rate” for the role
- Doing an eligible role with an occupation code
- Have enough money to support yourself in the UK
- English language skills to B1 level with a language test or degree qualifications
Documents you’ll need
When re-applying for a Skilled Worker visa, you will only need to provide supporting evidence again if you’ve been in the UK for under a year. You will be told exactly which supporting documents you’ll need to submit when you apply online. As before, it’s extremely important you give all of the documents requested.
- Proof of identity – your biometric residence permit you should already have. Therefore you should be able to scan your identity document on the Uk Immigration: ID Check App
- Certificate of Sponsorship reference number
- Job title and salary
- Occupation code
- Employers details – name and sponsor licence number
If you have resigned
If for whatever reason you have tendered your resignation with your current employer, for example, you are taking a job elsewhere, moving countries or just wishing to leave, responsibilities fall on you to report to the Home Office.
You should send a copy of your resignation to the UK Visas and Immigration department. This should include the date you intend to leave the organisation. Your employer should also notify the Home Office of this decision within 10 days. This is the best procedure to follow as it shows both you and your employer are not ignoring their responsibilities.
You may not be required to leave for 60 days, but it is advisable that you begin making plans to leave as soon as you are able to. This ensures you will not look like you aren’t complying with immigration law, which could affect future visa applications.
If you are unable to re-apply for a Skilled Worker visa in your current circumstances, you may be able to switch and apply for a different visa while in the UK. It is important to do any new application as soon as you can, before your current leave to remain has run out.
You could potentially make an application for one of the following:
- Partner visas – do you have a partner that is a British citizen or settled person and you want to get married? You could apply for a Fiance visa for six months leave to marry them. You can then apply for a Spouse visa – if you’re already married you could move straight to a Spouse visa.
- Student visa – if you are able to take on a course of study at a registered college or institution, you could take on a short or long-term Student visa.
It is important you meet all the eligibility requirements for any new visa.
How can Manchester Immigration Lawyers help you?
Leaving your job or having a change of employment on a Skilled Worker visa can be a time of great stress and upheaval. It can be confusing about which options might be best for you and how to ensure you are not breaking immigration rules.
To give yourself the best chance at future applications, it is highly recommended you seek immigration advice from highly qualified, professional immigration lawyers in Manchester. If you’re based in different regions around the UK, we can work with you remotely to provide the same quality guidance online or over the phone.
Call us on 0161 532 7794 or use our contact form at the top of the page today.
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