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How to Switch from Student Visa to Skilled Worker Visa ?

January 5, 2023BY Scott ( 0 ) Comment

Do you know that you are permitted to switch in the UK from the Student visa (including Tier 4) to the Skilled Worker category ?.  Yes, you are reading this right.

Switching from Student to Skilled Worker

According to the new points based system, the only immigration status requirement to switch into skilled worker route is:

To apply for permission to stay, an applicant must be in the UK at the time of application, and must not have been granted permission in the past:

(a) as a Visitor; or

(b) as a Short-term student; or

(c) as a Parent of a Child Student; or

(d) as a Seasonal Worker; or

(e) as a Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or

(f) outside the Immigration Rules.

In other words, you can switch in-country from Tier 4 to Skilled Worker and It is not possible to change from a Short-term Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa.

Requirements to switch from Student to Skilled Worker

Am I a new entrant?

If you are under 26 years of age, you are automatically considered a new entrant.

You can also be considered a new entrant if all of the following conditions apply:

  • As a student, you obtained your most recent visa;
  • There was a gap of less than two years between the expiration date of the student visa and the application date; and
  • You were sponsored to study one of the following courses on that student visa or any other student visa previously granted (not any other equivalent qualification): a UK bachelor’s degree; or a UK master’s degree; or a PhD or other doctoral qualification; or a postgraduate certificate in education; or a professional graduate diploma in education; and
  • The course mentioned above has been completed (or will be completed no more than 3 months before you apply), or you are studying a PhD in the UK and have completed at least 12 months of study.
  • If you received your most recent authorization as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Immigrant;
  • Any of the following occupation codes apply to you if you hold a postdoctoral position in that field:
  • Chemical experts (2111);
  • Scientists in the following fields: 2112 Biological scientists and biochemists; 2113 Physical scientists; 2114 Social and humanities scientists; 2119 Professionals in the natural and social sciences who are not otherwise classified;
  • teaching staff in higher education, 2311;
  • if you are pursuing a recognised professional qualification for the profession for which you have a job offer and if it is one that is regulated in the UK; if you are pursuing full registration or chartered status with the appropriate professional body for the position for which you are receiving sponsorship;

Advantages of being considered a new entrant to the labour market?

In order to qualify for hiring through the skilled worker route, employers must pay skilled workers a wage that is higher of the general salary threshold (£25,600) or 100% of the “going rate” for the occupation (as specified in the relevant occupation code listed above), whichever is higher.

However, a newcomer to the workforce may be paid a salary that is equivalent to or greater than £20,480 per year and 70% of the industry standard. This value is much lower and will allow new hires to be paid less.

For those with International Scholarship?

You must have given written authorization to the application from that Government or agency if you have won an award from a Government or international scholarship agency in the 12 months prior to the date of application that covers both tuition and living expenses for study in the UK.

Age limit to switch from Student to Skilled Worker?

There is no upper age limit for this route, but you must be over the age of 18 on the date of your Skilled Worker application. 

Other requirements for switching from Student to Skilled Worker?

You must also prove to UK Visas and Immigration that you meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for a skilled worker visa: You have a current Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you intend to do;

Your job offer is a real opening;

Any necessary Immigration Skills Charge has been paid by your sponsor;

Your work requires the right amount of skill;

You possess language proficiency in English at least at CEFR Level B1 (corresponding to an IELTS score of 4.0);

You are self-sufficient and don’t need government assistance;

If necessary, you have submitted a criminal record certificate, and if necessary, a valid TB certificate.

If you are requesting permission to remain and have resided in the UK legally for 12

Length of Grant when switching from Student to Skilled Worker

Those who successfully convert from the Student Migrant route to the Skilled Worker route will be given permission to stay for a period of 14 days following the expiration of their Certificate of Sponsorship. They can only be given a total of 4 years if they are applying as a new entrant. They are still able to apply for positions as skilled workers, but in order to be eligible, they must reach the applicable pay threshold without depending on the lower “new entrant” salary threshold.


Students should be aware that they can encounter issues upon returning to the UK if they travel while their Tier 4 / Student visas are still valid after they have finished their studies and before filing Skilled Worker applications. The immigration officer must be convinced that you will apply to extend your leave under this category or an other category, or that you will depart before the present student visa expires.

It is advised to wait until you have received your new BRP before departing the UK after submitting your Skilled Worker application until you have heard whether your application was approved.

Eligibility to Settle as a Skilled Worker

Once on the route for skilled workers, migrants will be residing there. They cannot combine their time in the UK through the Tier 4 / Student route to settle more quickly; rather, they must have spent a continuous period of 5 years there.

They must also fulfill all other requirements for settlement, including those related to knowledge of UK culture, sponsorship, pay, validity, and suitability.

After going through all  the information, if you feel you need expert advice or guidance in relation to switching from student visa to skilled worker, feel free to reach out to us for free consultation.

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