The global workforce has been haunted by layoff season for some time. Our data show that in 2023 alone, 292 tech companies laid off over 88,000 employees.

Immigrants have been confronted with a double whammy due to the fact that job losses frequently affect the status of their visas.

The 60-day deadline that laid off H-1B visa holders in the United States have to adhere by has especially come under fire in the past few months. However, the US is not the only country that puts out-of-job immigrants on the clock.

The UK's skilled worker visa too, has a 60-day deadline for holders who lose their jobs.

What is the skilled worker visa?

A Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.

Your visa can last for up to 5 years before you need to extend it. However, if for whatever reason your employment has been brought to an end early, this will shorten the time you can stay in the country.

You need to update your visa if you...
  • Change your job and employer
  • Lose your job or have been fired
  • Change from a role that was on the Shortage Occupation list to one that isn’t
  • Take a job that has a different occupation code

When does the deadline begin?

Your employer will inform the Home Office of your change in employment status within 10 days before your final working day.

You will then receive communication from the Home Office outlining the leave conditions by post. From the receipt of this letter, your 60 days leave begins.

"If the applicant is unable to find a new employer willing to offer him/her an employment within the 60-day period or until the expiry of his/her visa (whichever is earlier), then he/she must leave the UK to avoid accruing any unlawful stay," Poorvi Chothani, Managing Partner of immigration firm LawQuest, says.

"If the applicant finds an employer in the UK who is willing to sponsor him/her to help remain in the UK, then such employer will need to issue a new Certificate of Sponsorship and apply for a fresh Skilled Worker Visa for the applicant (within the 60-day period or before the expiry of his/her visa) to allow him/her to continue living in the UK," she adds.

Eligibility criteria

To apply for a new skilled worker visa, you will still need to meet the eligibility requirements you had previously met

  • Show proof of funds sufficient to support yourself while in the UK.
  • Demonstrate English language skills of up to B1 level through degree qualifications or a language test.
  • On an eligible role that has an occupation code.
  • Meet up with the minimum salary requirement of £10.10 per hour, £25,600 per year, or the minimum salary threshold for the role – depending on the one that is highest for that role.
  • Work for a UK employer or organisation that is registered and has a sponsor licence for the sponsoring of foreign workers to come and work in the UK.

    What If you can’t get a new job for a new skilled worker visa application?

  • You may be unable to reapply for the skilled worker visa due to circumstances but still want to remain in the UK. In such cases, you can consider switching visas and applying for a different visa while you are still in the UK.

    However, the 60-day deadline still applies. You must meet all the eligibility requirements of the visa you choose before you can switch to them.

    Consider these:
    Student Visa: Starting a course of study at any registered university or college makes you eligible for a long-term or short-term student visa.
    Partner Visa: If your partner is a British citizen and you plan to get married, you can apply for the FiancĂ© visa.
    It grants you six months leave for you to marry your partner. After you marry them, you can apply for the Spouse visa. If you are currently married to your partner, you can move straight to the Spouse Visa.

    Global Talent Visa: The Global Talent is an employer-free visa. This means that the validity of your visa will not depend on your sponsor and current job. If your work background fits the criteria, you will get the visa that gives talented specialists freedom to:
    • Work and change employers
    • Run their own business
    • Freelance
    • Study
    • Bring their family to the UK
    One of the major benefits of the Global Talent Visa is that it offers a straightforward path to ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) and British citizenship. You can become a permanent resident after 3 or 5 years on the visa (depending on its subcategory) and apply for citizenship after spending 5 years total in the UK.

    For more information please feel free to contact me on :

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