close menu

Benefits of switching from a Tier 2 visa to a spouse visa

by John Dunn | May 06, 2016
  • Officially known as a “family of a settled person” visa, the main advantage of the UK spouse visa is that there are no work restrictions. Unlike a Tier 2 visa, where you are only allowed to work for your sponsored employer, you may be employed by anyone.
  • Benefits of switching from a Tier 2 to a spouse visa

    A spouse visa allows you to work and study in the UK, as well as bring dependents or family members into the country. However, it usually doesn’t allow the holder access to public funds or other benefits. As such, you will need to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

    Although there are many benefits to holding a spouse visa, you are not obliged to change from a Tier 2 to a spouse visa upon marrying a UK citizen. If you do decide to make the switch, you may apply from within the UK.

    A major consideration when deciding whether or not to switch is how the change will affect you in obtaining permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain (ILR). Changing from a Tier 2 to a spouse visa would reset your qualifying period, starting at year zero.

    Spouse visas are generally available to people who are:

    • Already in the UK
    • Not from the European Economic Area or Switzerland
    • Intending to remain with a family member or partner who is living in the UK permanently

    The visa will allow you to stay in the UK for two years and six months, with the option of extending. After a five year period you may apply for ILR. If you do not meet the requirements for ILR after five years, you might be eligible to apply under the 10 year programme.

    This is a more lenient route, with financial requirements lowered from £35000 to £18600. However, you might still need to take or retake an English language test, depending on your country of origin.

    There are instances where you will not be allowed to switch visa categories. Applicants who are only permitted to stay in the UK for up to six months may not switch. However, an exception exists where permission was specifically given as a fiancé or proposed civil partner on the relevant visa. Prospective applicants who are in breach of immigration rules will also not be considered.

    Are you considering switching to a family of a settled person visa? Find out if you’re eligible, through our free online visa assessment tool.

    • man-working-at-home
      Get the most out of being a contractor in the UK by following these simple steps
      Mar 15, 2018  |  by 1st Contact
    • tax-hand-magnifying-glass
      Reap the benefits of submitting your Self Assessment tax return early
      Mar 02, 2018  |  by Kobus Van den Bergh
    • students-graduating
      UK student visas: Here's how you can get one
      Feb 22, 2018  |  by John Dunn
    • students-school-chalk-board
      Get your child into state-funded school in the UK
      Feb 21, 2018  |  by Leanne Shrosbree
    • medical-cross-and-heart
      The NHS vs Medicare: Which is better?
      Jan 30, 2018  |  by 1st Contact
    • big-ben-london-at-night
      What is the cost of living in London in 2018?
      Jan 25, 2018  |  by 1st Contact
    • house-key
      To rent in the UK, you absolutely need to have the right to rent
      Jan 19, 2018  |  by Leanne Shrosbree
    • man-making-more-money
      This is how contractors can take home more cash
      Jan 09, 2018  |  by Kobus Van den Bergh
    • airport-waiting-takeoff-plane
      5 pro tips for surviving your long-haul flight
      Dec 19, 2017  |  by Kobus Van den Bergh
    • young-friends-drinking-beer-at-pub
      10 interesting facts about the UK working holiday visa
      Nov 27, 2017  |  by John Dunn
     
     

    Do you like cookies? We do, read why.