Entry into the UK is for five years. You can apply to extend this visa for another two years.
You will also need to update your visa if you change jobs or employer.
You may become eligible to apply to settle permanently in the UK after 5 years. This is known as Indefinite Leave to Remain.
You will need five years continuous and lawful residence in the UK under this visa category. This means no more than 180 days of absences in any 12 month period.
You will also need to pass a Knowledge of Life in the UK Test.
Apply outside the UK: You must apply online before you travel to the UK. As part of your online application, you need to book an appointment at a visa application centre. You will have your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) taken at your appointment.
Apply in the UK: you may be able to apply from inside the UK to switch to this visa from another visa.
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you are due to start work in the UK. Once you have applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you will usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
You may be able to switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements
However, you cannot switch from one of the following categories:
- Visitor Visa
- Short-term Student Visa
- Parent of a Child Student Visa
- Seasonal Worker Visa
- Domestic Worker Visa
You also cannot apply to switch if you are on immigration bail, or if you have been granted permission to stay in the UK outside the immigration rules.