This guidance relates to change/convert or switch visitor visa UK to a job or work permit. And also provides the details of switching to a work permit route from inside the UK

Can a Visitor Convert a UK Tourist Visa to Work Permit?

No. It is not possible to switch visitor visa UK to job, work permit or any other route. However, only a prospective entrepreneur can switch visitor visa UK to an innovator visa after securing fundings. And only in limited circumstances, a tourist or visitor can apply for UK visit visa extension. Nevertheless, a domestic worker such as cleaner, chauffeur, cook, personal carer or nanny can work in the UK on a Domestic Worker Visa whilst accompanying a visiting employer.

Perhaps, it is relevant to mention that switching means changing the visa category in the UK. In fact, there are a number of routes, which allows switching. For instance, a migrant can convert fiance visa to UK spouse visa. However, a person on a UK marriage visa cannot switch to another migration route.

Moreover, in term of paragraph V 8.1 of Appendix V, switching to UK tourist visa from any other migration route is not possible. For instance, a student or worker cannot switch to become a tourist.

It is not possible to switch to become a visitor while in the UK Appendix V

Impact of Coronavirus on UK Visa and Immigration

For latest updates and details please refer to UK Visa Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidance


Perhaps, since 2008, Tier 2 General has gradually replaced the other UK work permit routes. And at present is the major route for doing work/job in the UK. However, after the introduction of Non-PBS Work routes under Appendix W in March 29, 2019, migrants can switch to startup, innovator and global talent routes. Nevertheless, following types of applicants can switch to Tier 2 General (aka UK work permit visa):

  • PBS Tier 1
  • Tier 2 Sportsperson and Ministers of Religion
  • Migrants on Intra Company Transfer visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010, and the applicant is applying to change the sponsor
  • Tier 4 Student – if the applicant has an eligible qualification or has done at least 12 months of a PhD
  • Startup Visa
  • Innovator Visa

Moreover, an applicant can also switch to work permit route if he/she is:

  • a dependent partner/spouse of someone with a Tier 4 Student Visa
  • a representative of an overseas business

You must leave the UK and make your Tier 2 (General) application from abroad if you’re not in any of these categories. Home Office

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