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Visa switching rules

In some cases a migrant who holds immigration leave to remain in the UK can “switch” their visa to a different kind of visa without having to leave the UK; a classic example is the student who switches to a partner visa

This kind of switch has always been possible and, in December 2020, the switching rules were liberalised so that, for example, it became much easier to switch to a study visa or work visa than it had been previously. So now somebody who holds a family visa may be able to switch into a different kind of visa route.

But sometimes a question comes up as to whether a migrant who holds leave as a visitor can switch into a more permanent immigration category. 

Unfortunately the answer to this question is in almost every case No; there are very few situations in which a visitor can switch. They will normally have to return home and submit a fresh visa application. 

If you want advice on switching rules and possibilities we at GSN Immigration will be able to advise and assist you. 



Oliver Westmoreland

OISC Level 3 Immigration Adviser