An image showing a rush of people in a street - Switching visas in UK An image showing a rush of people in a street - Switching visas in UK


Navigating the Terrain of Visa switching in the UK – Types & Restrictions

United Kingdom

Our plans for the future often change. It's possible that after entering a profession, we later decide it's entirely unsuited and switch to a different one. The same holds true for people who move to another nation, like the UK. It is altogether natural to change your visas based on personal preferences.

It should be noted that not all permits can be converted to another one within the UK. It is crucial to determine whether switching is a possibility for you. The laws governing visa switching have been loosened in recent years, allowing more visas to be transferred to another visa type, thus giving visa holders more flexibility.

The UK visas that can not be Switched

As mentioned earlier, not all visas can be switched. The Home Office website and a search for the desired permit are the two best ways to find out. There is a page called "switch to this visa" for the majority of visas, which will identify those from which it is not feasible to switch.

There are certain UK visas that can not be switched most of the time, i.e.

  • Visitor Visa
  • Seasonal worker visa
  • Domestic worker visa
  • Short-term student visa
  • Parent of a child's student visa

UK Visas that can be Switched

Depending on your situation and the current immigration laws, you have a number of options if you want to change the type of visa you have. Here we shall discuss the switching of permits in detail.

A group of students in the UK - Switching visas in the UK

Switching to Student Visa in the UK

Switching to a student visa in the United Kingdom is possible for individuals who are already in the UK for some reason and wish to pursue education. Switching to a student visa is very typical for foreign nationals in the UK. You may switch to a student visa if you are using one of the following permits.

  • Family visa
  • Dependent family visa.
  • Skilled worker visa.

The individual should have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the institution, pass the points-based assessment, and prove that they have enough funds to support themselves during their studies.

Switching to Work Visa in the UK

Those who want to reside in the UK and pursue a professional job can frequently move from a legal UK visa to a skilled worker visa. Depending on the sort of work visa you would like to switch to, different rules apply. There are different kinds of work visas in the UK, and you may get one as per your choice.

In the vast majority of conditions, you will require the following:

  • An employment offer from a UK-based employer in one of the qualified professions on the list
  • To make the required minimum wage
  • To have the necessary level of English speaking

As long as you can meet all the conditions for the specific visa you want, you can switch from any visa for the majority of economic routes. You do not need to have a job offer to qualify for some work permits, such as the Global Talent and HPI visas, but you will need to complete other requirements.

Switching to Family Visas in the UK

If a foreign national's spouse is a British citizen or someone who has settled in the UK, they are quite likely to switch from a work, student, or business visa to a family visa. In a similar manner, they can change from parent, child, or even adult dependent visas to dependent visas.

A family of three with their lugage - Switching UK visas

You can also change between family paths. For instance, if a marriage fails but there is still a bond with a child, an applicant who registers as a partner may be granted an extension as a parent. If the precise requirements for private life are satisfied, it is also possible to get permission to remain in the UK based on personal life instead of family life.

Limitations in Switching Visas in the UK

The visa switching is not for everyone. There are several limitations or restrictions you might have to face while applying for this visa. For instance,

  • You are not allowed to switch all kinds of visas. Thus, you must be careful while changing to or from a specific permit.
  • You will have to face some restrictions as you alter your permit depending on your choice.
  • In case you have switched your visa, the dependent family member will require to apply separately.


Changing your immigration category from within the UK is not always easy. By changing your visa category, you may be able to stay in the UK under certain circumstances. While the new system has loosened limits in many ways, there is still strictness in some areas. Therefore, you should know the details of visas before going on with what could be a change of lifestyle.



Can a visitor visa in the UK be changed to a work permit?

No. In the UK, you are unable to change from a tourist visa to any other permit. The Visitor Visa is intended for travel to the UK for short visits only, not for long-term residence.

How long does it take in the UK to change a visa?

Once you've submitted an online application to switch your visa, you should typically hear back within eight weeks.

Can I file for two distinct types of visas simultaneously in the UK?

Nothing prevents you from applying for two visas simultaneously if you are eligible to apply for a substantive visa.


To access the free information about visas and immigration, simply navigate to the relevant section on our website. You'll find a wide range of articles, guides, and resources to help you understand various visa processes, immigration requirements, and related topics.
Yes, VisaLobby strives to cover visa and immigration information for a wide range of countries across the globe. While we aim to provide comprehensive coverage, please note that the depth and breadth of information may vary for different countries.
Registering as a user on VisaLobby is easy. Simply click on the "Sign up" button on the top right corner of the website and fill in the required information. Once registered, you'll have access to full features on our website.
If you have any further questions, concerns, or feedback, you can reach out to us through the "Help" page on our website. We value user input and are always ready to assist you with any inquiries you may have.
If you need technical assistance or have inquiries about VisaLobby, you can reach our customer support team through the "Help" page on our website. Provide a detailed description of your issue or question, and our team will promptly assist you. We strive to provide excellent customer support and ensure that your experience on VisaLobby is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Yes, you can leave comments on the blog articles without registering. We encourage active participation and discussion among our users, so feel free to share your thoughts, ask questions, or provide feedback in the comments section.
After registering as a user, you can log in to your account and navigate to the blog section. There, you'll find an option to submit your article for review. Our team will review the content, ensuring it aligns with our guidelines and it will be published on the blog.
No, publishing articles on our blog is completely free for registered users. We believe in providing a platform for individuals to share their experiences, knowledge, and insights related to visas and immigration.
Yes, we strive to keep our visa and immigration information up-to-date. Our team regularly monitors and researches changes in visa policies, immigration regulations, and related topics to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and current.
Absolutely! We encourage users to share their personal visa and immigration experiences on VisaLobby. By doing so, you can provide valuable insights, tips, and support to others who may be going through similar situations.
Absolutely! We encourage users to share blog articles or other visa-related information from VisaLobby on social media platforms. By sharing valuable content, you can help spread awareness and assist others who may benefit from the information.
While we encourage users to freely express their opinions and experiences, there are certain guidelines in place to maintain the integrity and quality of the content published on the blog. Content that is offensive, discriminatory, or violates our community guidelines may not be approved for publication.
Yes, you can subscribe to our newsletter or opt-in for email notifications to receive updates on new blog articles, visa-related information, and other relevant updates from VisaLobby. Simply provide your email address and select the subscription option that suits your preferences.
If you come across inappropriate content or behaviour on VisaLobby, we encourage you to report it to our moderation team. Look for the "Report" option associated with the content or user, provide a brief explanation of the issue, and our team will review and take appropriate action.