How to Convert a UK Work Permit

With the recent changes to the system of UK work permits, finding out how to convert your existing UK work permit can be complicated. Our UK partners can assist software developers, oil and gas workers, IT project managers, business analysts and many other workers with their work permit transfers.

Changing Tier 2 Work Permit Application

UK Work Permit Changes

In April 2011, the previous Tier 1 permits were made much more exclusive, essentially preventing skilled overseas workers from obtaining UK work visas unless they have exceptional talent which has been recognised by an international body. Not only does this limit the options for candidates hoping to enter the UK, it also prevents you from renewing your Tier 1 work permit and limits your options if you’re changing from a different permit.

Tier 2 UK Work Permit

Since the Tier 1 permits have been severely limited, the Tier 2 permit is the best option for professionals looking to switch to working as consultants in the UK. If you’re currently working on a Tier 5 UK work permit, then a Tier 2 (General) permit is your only option if you wish to continue working in the UK. Likewise, if you’re on a Tier 4 student visa, or a Tier 1 post study UK work permit, then the Tier 2 (General) is your only option to stay in the country and continue to work. The Tier 2 work permits are split into “General,” suitable for most workers, and “ICT” or “Intra-Company Transfer”, which covers workers who work with a multinational company outside the UK and transfer into a UK based role.

UK Work Permits


Anybody trying to switch work permit to a Tier 2 needs sponsorship from an employer. A sponsor is tied to your work permit, which means that if you change employer, you generally also have to alter your work permit. 

How We Help With Work Permit Transfer

We have a number of UK partner companies that can also potentially sponsor your work permit switch. Our team have a detailed knowledge of our consultancy partners and we can suggest the best one for your specific skill set. We always respond to enquiries promptly, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have on the process of transferring your permit, the different UK work permits available and any other questions you have.

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Client comment

"Great advice and excellent service on contracting and immigration solutions in the UK. I would highly recommend Tim and the team to assist you with accurate, clear and concise contracting advice in the UK or any other country for that matter."

Prishen Pillay,Global DBA Operations Lead

Shell International Trading & Shipping