Making the Switch from Student Visa to Skilled Worker Visa

Transitioning from a student to a full-fledged employee can be a challenge at any stage in your life. However, if you find yourself on a Student Visa within the UK, you’ll need to know what steps to take. The process of moving from a Student Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa may seem a bit complicated, but fear not, there is a clear process to follow.

What is Required to Make the Switch

The primary requirement for switching from a Student Visa or Tier 4 to a Skilled Worker Visa, formerly Tier 2 Visa, is completion of the course. The UK has streamlined the process for Tier 4 recipients transitioning to a Skilled Worker Visa. However, the student must complete all applied courses before the visa is granted. While students may apply for a Skilled Worker Visa before course completion, the approved employment’s start date must be after the courses are completed. This ensures a smooth transition from student to employee. Nevertheless, there are a few more requirements.

The Student Visa holder must:

  • Have a job offer from an approved employer by the Home Office.
  • For PhD students, the start date must be no earlier than 24 months from your course.
  • The job offer must meet minimum annual salary requirements.
  • The job must be on the eligible occupation list.
  • The student must meet minimum  language requirements.
  • Have sufficient financial support for themselves.

Changes in Recent Years

For graduates entering the UK job market, the task can seem a little daunting, but the government tries to make it easier for students. For instance, students do not always have to meet the minimum salary requirements just to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa. Provided the new applicant meets the minimum 70% point requirements, is under 26 years of age, is working toward full chartered status, and is working toward a recognized qualified profession within the UK, they can earn less while still getting approved.

Those who hold a PhD in STEM subjects also do not have to meet the minimum salary requirements. PhDs that appear on the Skilled Occupations List located on the Home Office website can earn 80% of the minimum salary requirement and still be approved.

Switching to Skilled Worker Visa from Student Visa

The first thing you will need to obtain is a Certificate of Sponsorship from an approved employer. Next, complete the application process provided by the Home Office, pay the fee, and provide proof of identity. The final step is to upload all necessary documents to support your application. The primary application is online. However, depending on circumstances, the student may be asked to attend an interview at the Home Office.

How Long Does the Application Take?

Typically, an application for a Skilled Worker Visa from a Student Visa takes up to 8 weeks. However, there is an expedited option for a faster decision. The Home Office allows the applicant to pay £500 for priority processing, resulting in approval within 5 working days, or £800 for super-priority, with a decision made by the end of the work week.

How SilverOak Solicitors can assist you

Don’t feel like you’re navigating the transition from student to skilled worker all by yourself. Making significant decisions in life can be challenging, and when it’s time to shift from being a student to a skilled worker, trust SilverOak Solicitors to guide you. We specialise in the legal aspects of transitioning from a student visa to a skilled worker visa, so let us assist you on your journey. SilverOak Solicitors is here for you when you need support the most. Contact us today and embark on the path to employment success in the UK.

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