Applying from within the UK

Individuals issued with a Skilled Worker Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from the Staff Immigration Team need to submit a visa application for themselves and any dependants to the Home Office, to be issued with a Skilled Worker visa.

Individuals currently in the UK on a valid UK visa can make an application to switch into a Skilled Worker visa, as long as they are not currently in the UK on a 

  • visit visa
  • short term student visa
  • parent of a Child Student visa
  • seasonal worker visa
  • domestic worker visa
  • visa outside the immigration rules

The application process is described in the sections below. 

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An applicant applying for Skilled Worker permission to remain must submit their application in the UK. They must submit their application before the expiry of their current visa, and no more than 3 months before the start date in their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

Once it has been issued, a Skilled Worker CoS is valid for 3 months, and an applicant must submit their application before the date of expiry on the CoS. If an applicant does not submit their application before that date, the CoS will no longer be valid and cannot be used.

Dependants in the UK can apply at the same time, and they can be included in the same application form as the main applicant. If the dependants wish to apply at a different time, or they are outside the UK, they must apply using a different application form, and should only apply once the main applicant has submitted their own application or their application has been granted.

Applicants and each of their dependents will incur a visa application fee, biometric enrolment fee, immigration health surcharge fee, and any additional fees for Priority or Super Priority services. 


A full table of costs can be found on the Skilled Worker costs page.

Visa application fees will vary depending on the length of the CoS and whether the job is on the Shortage Occupation List.

See our guidance on the reimbursement of visa costs and visa loan scheme webpages.

The applicant will need to complete an online application form.

For extension applications (including Change of Employment applications), guidance and a link to the online application can be found on the Home Office Skilled Worker ‘Extend your visa’ page.

For switching applications guidance and the online application form can be found on the Home Office Skilled Worker ‘Switch to this visa’ page.

Dependants already in the UK can be included on the main applicant’s application. Dependants applying at a different time, or applying to join the main applicant in the UK, must apply separately, and submit an individual application. Guidance and a link to the online application can be found on the Home Office Skilled Worker 'Your partner and children' page.

The online application forms should be intuitive, and only ask for information relevant to the application being made. The Staff Immigration Team is happy to provide guidance on the completion of the application, and encourages applicants to email a downloaded PDF of the drafted application to be checked before submission. An application cannot be amended once the ‘Declaration’ section has been completed, so a draft PDF should be downloaded once the applicant reaches the ‘Document’ section.

Once they have carefully checked the details and submitted their application, the applicant will need to pay the combined visa application and biometric enrolment fee.

All applicants and their dependants applying in-country are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. This is a one-off payment that allows access to the National Health Service for the duration of the visa.

When the visa application, biometric enrolment and immigration health surcharge fees have been paid, two PDF documents are generated: the completed application form and a supporting evidence checklist.

These two PDFs should be sent to the Staff Immigration Team for future reference, and to help the team provide assistance if any issue with the application arises after submission

The applicant should also be automatically directed to set up an account with and book a biometrics appointment at a UK Visas and Citizenship Application Services Centre (UKVCAS). They will also be able to upload scans of their documents to their UKVCAS account. At their appointment, the applicant will enrol their biometrics (photographs and fingerprints), and submit their documents.

There are a number of UKVCAS Centres around the UK:

  • 7 Core Service Points which offer free appointments (Belfast, Cardiff, Croydon, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield and Solihull);
  • 50+ Enhanced Service Points, which charge an additional fee; and
  • 1 Premium Lounge Service Point (London). A full table of costs including additional fees can be found on the Skilled Worker costs page.

Applicants and their dependants will all need to attend an appointment, and children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by the responsible adult named in the child's application.

Applicants will be told what they need to take to the appointment when making the booking, which should include

  • Appointment confirmation
  • Passport or travel document
  • Supporting evidence (even if scanned and uploaded in advance, it is advisable to take these documents to the appointment in case they need to be reviewed or re-scanned)

Additional information can be found on the UKVCAS website.

An applicant should be notified by email of the outcome of their Skilled Worker visa application.

A Standard application should be decided within 8 weeks of the application being submitted online. It may take longer to receive a decision if the applicant has had a prior visa refusal, or if the Home Office needs to request more information.

If an applicant and their dependants have opted for one of priority services, this may accelerate the processing time of the application from the standard 8 weeks. 

Once the decision has been made, the new Skilled Worker Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) should be delivered to the correspondence address within 10 working days of the decision.

Guidance in relation to BRPs for in-country applicants can be found on the Home Office website.

The department or college can use the Employer Checking Service to secure the visa holder's right to work while the application is pending. Please contact SIT, or use the Employer Checking Service guidance for more information. 


Please note that applicants must not travel outside of the UK until they have received a decision on their application. If an applicant travels outside of the UK or the Common Travel Area (Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) before a decision is made on their application, their application will be treated as automatically withdrawn.

Applicants should therefore allow around 10 weeks from submitting the online application to receiving their new Biometric Residence Permit, during which time they must not travel outside of the UK or the Common Travel Area.

Applicants who have urgent travel plans may need to consider the Priority services available.

Details of the Skilled Worker visa conditions and issues which can arise can be found on our During sponsorship page.

Contact us

Medical Sciences / Humanities / GLAM / UAS / Continuing Education

Angelina Pelova, Email: 

Paul Deeble, Email:


MPLS / Social Sciences / Colleges

Lyn Davis, Email:

Richard Birt, Email:




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