There are some visa types which UKVI didn’t allow individuals to switch from and to and this meant that they couldn’t apply for the new visa from within the UK and instead had to leave the UK and apply from overseas.
Whilst there are still some restrictions, these have been relaxed under the new system which makes the process quicker and easier.
Previously, Tier 2 ICT visa holders could not switch to a Tier 2 General visa, instead they had to leave the UK for a 12 month ‘cooling off period’ and apply once this period had expired. Under the new system they are able to switch from an ICT to a Skilled Worker visa which also means that they will subsequently be able to apply for ILR after holding the Skilled Worker visa for 5 years.
In addition, Dependant visa holders are also able to switch from within the UK to the Skilled Worker visa which they couldn’t before and so will Tier 5 visa holders which again, wasn’t permitted under the old system.
This is helpful to employers whose employees previously had to spend weeks or months outside the UK waiting for their new visa, whereas now they will not need to travel and can continue to work in the meantime so long as they are eligible to switch visa types from within the UK and submit their application before their current visa expires.