Staff Visas

Extensions and indefinite leave to remain

How to extend your Skilled Worker visa or apply for indefinite leave to remain.

To apply for an extension of your Skilled Worker visa

  • You must obtain a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) -  ​please discuss this with HR staff, who will confirm if further sponsorship can be offered.
  • You must submit an online application before your current visa expires.

If a valid extension application is submitted, you can continue living and working in the UK under the same conditions until the UKVI decide on your application.  You cannot travel outside the UK whilst your application is outstanding.

If you are remaining in the same role with the same sponsor (eg University of Edinburgh), then this application should be straightforward. 

If you are switching employer or role, the UKVI may require more information.

Find out more and link to the application form on the UKVI website


Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

You can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or 'settlement' once you have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK in any combination of the following routes:

  • Skilled Worker (including Tier 2)
  • Global talent / Innovator
  • T2 Minister of Religion
  • T2 Sportsperson
  • Representative of an Overseas Business
  • Tier 1 Migrant, other than as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant.

A “continuous period” means you have not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period during the 5 years (some absences can be exempt).  

The ‘start date’ of your 5-year period can be taken from the date your entry clearance was granted, as long as the time between the grant and when you first entered the UK is counted towards your total absences. 

You must submit an application before your current visa expires, and you are allowed to apply up to 28 days before the end of your 5 year qualifying period.

You will apply under the Skilled Worker category (as this has now replaced Tier 2) by completing an online application form here. At the end of this application, you will book an appointment at a visa application centre to enrol your biometric information (fingerprints and photograph).

At the end of the application for, you will book an appointment at a visa application centre to enrol your biometric information (fingerprints and photograph).

Application form

Guidance on the application form

Supporting documents you will need for your application:

1. All current and previous passports used since starting your 5-year qualifying period in the UK.

(Current passports must be valid.)

2. Original BRP card.

3. Evidence you meet the Knowledge of Life and Language in the UK requirement.

This requires you to pass a Life in the UK Test and prove your English language ability.

4. A letter from the University of Edinburgh 

The letter must confirm:

  • They still require you to work for them for the foreseeable future
  • That you are paid (and your salary), and that you will be paid this for the foreseeable future
  • a list of your work-related absences, including periods of annual leave
  • (If you have moved employers, you will also need a letter from any previous employers detailing your absences whilst working for them).

HR colleagues should have a template of this letter that they can complete.

5. A travel list

  • A complete list of all travel outside of the UK undertaken during the 5 year period of time (UKVI are not interested in internal travel).
  • This will be part of the evidence that you meet the residence requirement of having lived in the UK for 5 years and not having had absences of more than 180 days in any 12-month period.  

You will add these dates to the application form and HR colleagues should confirm these dates in their letter. 

Notes on the application form 

Recent applicants for ILR have completed their online application and there is a checklist which appears at the end. 

This lists the supporting documentation you need to include and is still referring to a recent payslip/bank statementThis was a requirement under the old Tier 2 rules, but was removed when the new Skilled worker route was introduced.  

It seems that the application form has not yet been updated. 

We expect this to be changed soon, however, if you are asked for these documents you may want to include them to avoid any confusion (although they are no longer mandatory).  If you are not asked for this, then do not worry – you do not need to include it.

If you have any dependants applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), additional documents will be required.