You may be eligible to apply to switch from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa if you have completed your course and meet all the eligibility requirements.

Switching from a Student 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.

If you are considering applying to switch from a Student 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 are the benefits of switching from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa?
  3. Requirements for switching from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa
  4. What is the minimum salary requirement for a Skilled Worker visa?
  5. What documents are required for switching to a Skilled Worker visa?
  6. How to apply to switch from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker?
  7. How long does a Skilled Worker visa take to process?
  8. How much does switching from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa cost?
  9. How can our solicitor help to switch to a Skilled Worker visa?
  10. FAQs: Switch from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa
  11. 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.

The Skilled Worker route is for employers to recruit highly skilled workers from around the world to work in the UK in a specific job. Employers will need a sponsorship licence from the Home Office to hire skilled employees from outside the UK.

What are the benefits of switching from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa?

Switching from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa can offer several benefits:

Employment Opportunities

With a Skilled Worker visa, you can work full-time in the UK without restrictions on the type of job or the number of hours you work. This provides more flexibility in finding employment and advancing your career.

Permanent Residence Pathway

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.

Ability to Bring Dependents

Skilled worker visas may allow you to bring dependents, such as spouses or children, to the UK, providing opportunities for family reunification. 

Requirements for switching from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa

To qualify to switch from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa, you must have completed your course and have a CoS from an approved UK employer.

Before applying to switch from a Student 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 completed the course of your study.
  • 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 should prove your knowledge of English, which you may already satisfy if you've completed a degree in the UK.

If you are studying for a full-time PhD, then the date employment begins can be no sooner than 24 months after the start of your course.

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, to be eligible to switch from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa, applicants must now earn at least £38,700 gross per year.

The minimum salary requirement for the UK Skilled Worker visa generally must meet either the general salary threshold which is usually £38,700 per year or the "going rate" for the specific job, whichever is higher.

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

When you apply to switch from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa, you will need to provide various documents.

Documents you'll need to apply to switch from a Student visa to a Skilled worker visa:

  • 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 apply to switch from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker?

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

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

  • Step 1: assessment of your eligibility.
  • Step 2: Get a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your UK employer.
  • Step 3: Gather all the required documents.
  • Step 4: Complete the Skilled Worker visa application form online.
  • Step 5: Submit your visa application supporting documents and pay relevant fees.
  • Step 6: Book and attend your biometric appointment to provide your biometric information.
  • Step 7: Wait for the decision. It usually takes around 8 weeks to process.

How long does a Skilled Worker visa take to process?

Once you have applied online to switch from a Student 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 Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa cost?

To apply to switch to a UK Skilled Worker visa you must have enough money to pay a visa application fee that ranges from £827 to £1,636 and a healthcare surcharge usually £1,035 per year.

You should also have 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 can our solicitor help to switch to a Skilled Worker visa?

Are you planning to switch your Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa? Contact our immigration solicitors to understand how to apply and eligibility criteria.

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 Student visa to a Skilled Worker visa

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

To be eligible to apply to switch to a Skilled Worker visa, you must have completed your course and 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 Student 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 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.

Generally, you cannot switch directly from a Student Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa while still studying in the UK. You typically need to wait until you have completed your studies and have a valid job offer from a UK employer.

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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