You can apply to switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa before your Graduate visa expires if you meet all the eligibility requirements.

Switching from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa can be complex, and it's advisable to seek legal assistance from a specialist UK immigration solicitor to ensure that you meet eligibility criteria.

Our immigration solicitors will help you understand the requirements, new rules, necessary documents, minimum salary, and the application process for switching from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK.

If you are considering applying to switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa, contact our immigration solicitors in London at 020 3417 3700 today.

Table of Contents

  1. What is the Skilled Worker visa?
  2. What is a Graduate visa?
  3. What is the difference between a Graduate visa and a Skilled Worker visa?
  4. What are the requirements for switching from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa?
  5. What is the minimum salary requirement for a Skilled Worker visa?
  6. What documents are required for switching to a Skilled Worker visa?
  7. How to switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker?
  8. How long does a Skilled Worker visa take to process?
  9. How much does switching from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa cost?
  10. How our solicitor can help to switch to a Skilled Worker visa?
  11. FAQs: Switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa
  12. Need legal advice & assistance?

What is the Skilled Worker visa?

The Skilled Worker visa is a long-term UK work visa allowing overseas skilled workers to work in the UK with a UK-based employer with a valid sponsor licence.

The Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa in December 2020.

UK Skilled Worker visa is a route to the settlement, meaning you can apply for ILR as a skilled worker after a qualifying period of five years.

What is a Graduate visa?

The Graduate visa allows you to work, look for work, or start your own business in the UK without the need for a sponsor. It provides you with a two-year period to gain valuable work experience and explore career opportunities.

During the Graduate visa period, you can switch to other visa categories, such as the Skilled Worker Visa, if you meet the specific requirements. This flexibility makes the Graduate Visa an attractive option for international students who seek to begin their professional journeys in the UK.

What is the difference between a Graduate visa and a Skilled Worker visa?

The Graduate visa is an excellent opportunity for recent graduates to gain practical experience in the UK job market, while the Skilled Worker visa offers a pathway to long-term employment and settlement in the UK.

Visa Requirements

The requirements for the Graduate visa and Skilled Worker visa differ significantly. While both visas have specific eligibility criteria, the Graduate visa is designed for recent graduates who wish to gain work experience in the UK, whereas the Skilled Worker visa is aimed at skilled professionals who have a job offer from a UK employer who have a valid sponsor licence.

Employment Opportunities

One of the main differences between the Graduate visa and Skilled Worker visa is the scope of employment opportunities they provide.

The Graduate visa allows you to work in any sector and for any employer, offering flexibility in exploring different industries and roles.

On the other hand, the Skilled Worker visa requires a specific job offer from a licenced UK employer, limiting your employment options to the job for which you hold an offer.

Long-term Prospects

Another key factor to consider is the long-term prospects offered by each visa.

The Graduate visa has a duration of two years, providing an opportunity to gain valuable work experience and potentially transition to a Skilled Worker visa or another visa category.

The Skilled Worker visa, on the other hand, offers a pathway to settlement in the UK, enabling you to build a long-term career and eventually apply for British citizenship.

What are the requirements for switching from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa?

Before applying to switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa, ensure you meet the following eligibility criteria to maximise your chances of being a successful applicant.

  • You must have a valid job offer from a UK-based employer.
  • Your employer must have a valid sponsor licence.
  • You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
  • Your job is a genuine vacancy.
  • Your job must be at or above the required skill level of RQF Level 3.
  • You must meet the minimum salary requirements.

You must meet all other eligibility requirements depending on your circumstances. For eligibility assessment, contact our immigration solicitors by calling 020 3417 3700 or filling in our online contact form.

What is the minimum salary requirement for a Skilled Worker visa?

From 4 April 2024, the minimum salary requirements for a Skilled Worker visa have also been updated.

To be eligible for the Skilled Worker visa, applicants must now earn at least £38,700 gross per year. However, you might need a higher salary depending on your job.

The minimum salary requirement for the UK Skilled Worker visa generally must meet either the general salary threshold or the "going rate" for the specific job, whichever is higher.

If you have any questions regarding the Skilled Worker visa minimum salary requirements, don't hesitate to reach out to our team at Wembley Solicitors. Our experienced team of immigration solicitors in London is here to provide you with the support you need throughout the Skilled Worker application process.

Contact Wembley Solicitors today at 0203 417 3700 and let us help you navigate the Skilled Worker visa application process with confidence.

What documents are required for switching to a Skilled Worker visa?

When you apply to switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa, you will need to provide various documents, including:

  • your valid passport
  • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) reference number
  • job offer letter from an approved UK-based employer
  • your job title and annual salary
  • your job's occupation code
  • evidence of meeting the minimum salary requirement
  • the name of the employer and their sponsorship licence number
  • evidence that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK

You may need to provide additional supporting documents depending on your circumstances. To get a comprehensive UK Skilled Worker visa document checklist, schedule an appointment today with our specialist UK immigration solicitor in London.

How to switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker?

You must apply online to switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker before your current Graduate visa expires if you meet the eligibility requirements of Appendix Skilled Worker.

The steps for a UK Skilled Worker visa application are as follows:

  • Assess your eligibility to apply to switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa.
  • Gather all the necessary documents including a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
  • Complete the online application form providing accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Pay the Skilled Worker visa application fee. The standard fee ranges from £719 to £1,639.
  • Pay the relevant Skilled Worker visa application fee and the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS).
  • Book and attend a biometric appointment to provide your biometric information, including fingerprints and a photograph.
  • After submitting your application and attending your biometric appointment, you will need to wait for a decision.

How long does a Skilled Worker visa take to process?

Once you have applied online to switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa, you will usually get a decision within 8 weeks of your application date.

Visa application using super priority service

You may be eligible to apply for a visa using the "Super Priority Service" to get a faster decision by the end of the next working day (within 24 hours). You'll need to pay the "Super Priority Service" fee in addition to the visa application fee.

Visa application using priority service

You can choose the "Priority Service" when you apply for a visa to get a faster decision within 5 working days. You'll need to pay the "Priority Service" fee in addition to the visa application fee.

How much does switching from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa cost?

When you apply to switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa, you'll need to have enough money to pay the Skilled Worker visa application fee, healthcare surcharge, and support yourself when you arrive in the UK.

To apply for a UK Skilled Worker visa you need to pay a visa application fee ranging from £827 to £1,636 and a healthcare surcharge usually £1,035 per year.

You should have enough money to support yourself when you arrive in the UK (unless you're exempt). you'll usually need to have at least £1,270 available.

How our solicitor can help to switch to a Skilled Worker visa?

Our expert team of UK immigration solicitors and lawyers will be able to assist you with any type of UK visa or immigration application.

Immigration solicitors at Wembley Solicitors will:

  • Provide detailed immigration advice.
  • Assess your circumstances and eligibility for a UK visa application.
  • Explain the entire UK visa application process.
  • Give you a completed checklist of documents according to the type of visa application and your circumstances.
  • Check all the supporting documents to ensure that they are sufficient and in the correct format.
  • Fill out the complete application form and prepare detailed representations/cover letter for the Home Office UKVI about the Immigration Rules.
  • Book an appointment for you to enrol your biometrics.
  • Upload all the supporting documents.
  • Liaise with the Home Office UKVI throughout the process until we receive the decision.
  • Keep you updated with every stage of your visa or immigration application.

Contact our immigration solicitors in Wembley, London on 020 3417 3700 or fill in the enquiry form for immediate legal advice & assistance with your UK visa application.

FAQs: Switch from a Graduate visa to a Skilled Worker visa

Yes, you can switch from a Graduate visa to a UK Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK before your Graduate visa expires.

To be eligible to apply to switch to a Skilled Worker visa, you must meet the eligibility criteria for the Skilled Worker route, including having a job offer from a UK employer with a valid sponsor licence and meeting the required skill level etc.

You can apply to switch to a UK Skilled Worker visa at any time during the validity of your Graduate visa. However, you must ensure that you have a valid job offer from a UK-based employer with a valid sponsor licence before applying.

No, the time spent on a Graduate visa or Student visa does not count towards the residency requirement for settlement (indefinite leave to remain). However, time spent on other eligible visas, such as the UK Skilled Worker visa, may count towards the residency requirement.

We provide expert advice, practical assistance, and professional representation to guide you through the application and decision-making process, from start to finish. 

We're authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so you know you're in safe hands.

Contact our solicitor today to get legal advice and assistance with your UK immigration matters.

You can call us on 02034173700 or leave your details here for a callback request regarding your legal matter.

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