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Skilled Worker Route

Section 1: Purpose and Contents of this page:

This page has been made to provide limited guidance on the Skilled Worker Route (Formerly known as TIER 2 General), for current students at the University of Warwick, who are:

  1. On a degree level course or above
  2. Are currently being sponsored a Student Visa by Warwick
  3. Are interested in switching to a skilled worker visa to work for an employer where completion of their current degree is expected.

Section 2: Who is the Skilled Worker route for?

This route is for skilled workers with a job offer.

The UKVI launched a new 'Skilled Worker Eligibility Checker (SWEC) tool' at the end of November 2021, which should make it easier for you to check if a particular job is eligible under the Skilled Worker route, giving you confidence that you meet eligibility criteria before you apply. The checker can be found here: CalculatorLink opens in a new window

Salary Requirements:

Certificate of Sponsorship:

Student visa holders in UK switching to Skilled worker Route:

  • From 3pm 17th July 2023, the new rules require you to have completed your course before you can switch into the skilled worker route. However, Students on courses at degree level or above will be able to apply before course completion to switch into this route as long as your employment start date is after your course completion. Those studying towards PhDs will be able to switch after 24 months’ study on the PhD (previously this was 12 months).

    The Home Office caseworkers’ guidance explains their definition of course completion. It states that the caseworkers will check the course completion date entered on the CAS. The Home Office have confirmed where a student completes the course earlier than the date on the CAS, they will look at any sponsor reports of early completion, if that is missing, they should consider any information provided in the application and request more information from the applicant if required. If you are in this position, you should seek further advice from our International Student Advisers. It is recommended you submit transcript of results confirming the course completion and an explanation to avoid a visa refusal. Please note, if you are applying to switch before the course end date on the CAS, this definition of course completion by the Home office does not form part of the immigration rules. Therefore, in the event of a visa refusal you may not be able to rely on this.

Financial Requirements:

  • If you are applying for the visa in the UK and have been living in the UK for 12 consecutive months
    • You do not need to provide any bank statements as you will be exempt from the financial requirements.
  • If you are applying from overseas OR have not been living in the UK for 12 months
    • You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK. You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa. You’ll usually need to show proof of this when you apply, unless either: you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months OR your employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1,270
      • or
    • Your employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1,270

It is important to note that the skilled worker route ties you into one job and one employer for the duration of that visa's validity.

Your employer will act as a sponsor and will therefore have a legal obligation to the Home Office to report on your attendance and compliance under this category.

After 5 years of being in the UK under this route, and, if you meet the minimum salary requirements at that time, you will be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK, provided other conditions are met.

Section 3: What if I am holding a student visa at the moment and want to switch to Skilled Worker Visa?

Switching from the student route to the Skilled Worker Route:

You can switch to skilled worker route as soon as:

    • You have passed your course end date, as listed on your current CAS


    • Within the last 3 months before your official course end date, as listed on your current CAS and your employment start date must be after the official course end date on your CAS.

New Entrant:

There is a special provision under the Skilled Worker category for applicants who are currently here on a Student visa are considered as an applicant as a new entrant.

A 'new entrant' means a new entrant to the labour market, in other words someone who is near the start of their career, who meets certain criteria - It does not mean an applicant who is making their first Skilled Worker application or entering the UK for the first time.

If switching from a current Warwick Sponsored Student Visa, the applicant must have been sponsored to study one of the following courses, and not any other qualifications of an equivalent level:

    • a UK bachelor’s degree

      • a UK master’s degree

        • a UK PhD or other doctoral qualification;

          • a Postgraduate Certificate in Education

            • a Professional Graduate Diploma of Education

            The applicant must have completed, or, be applying no more than 3 months before their course end date, as listed on their current CAS.

            An exception applies to PhDs and other doctoral qualifications, where the applicant must have completed at least 12 months of study in the UK towards the qualification.

            If you are claiming points under Tradeable Points Section E, switching from Student or Graduate route visa to Skilled Worker visa, you can be a new entrant for a maximum of 4 years.

            The 4 years includes time spent in any Tier 2 route, the Graduate route or as a Skilled Worker, whether or not that permission was for a continuous period.

            Please seek further advice from your Skilled Worker Visa Sponsor if you are concerned about the 4-year limit.

            Section 4: How do I obtain a course confirmation letter for my Skilled Worker visa application?

            As you can apply for a Skilled worker visa within the 3 months of your expected course completion date, you are only required to submit a letter which would confirm your expected course completion date. Until your degree is officially awarded, you can self-generate and download this student status letter using Student records online.

            If for some reason your employer disagrees then please refer them to the Skilled worker policy guidanceLink opens in a new window

            More information about when you can start working if you are switching to the Skilled Worker visa is available on UKCISA.

            Section 5: When can I start my Skilled Worker job after applying for the visa?

            The rules surrounding when you can start working, after submitting the Skilled Worker application can be quite complex. Detailed information is available on the webpage of UK Council for International Student Affairs.

            If you require any further assistance with understanding this, please contact our International Student Advisor.

            Section 6: What if my student visa expires before I receive the Skilled Worker visa?

            If you submit your skilled worker visa application online and pay the visa application fees before your student visa expiry date, you will be covered by Section 3C leave.

            Section 3C of the 1971 Immigration Act states that the conditions attached to your previous leave will continue to apply if you have applied before the leave expires until a decision is made on your visa application.

            This means you are not considered an overstayer after your visa expiry date as Section 3C leave essentially extends your student visa validity until you receive the outcome of the skilled worker visa application.

            Page Change Log:

            Page Audit Review:
            Previous Review Date Reviewed By Next Review Date
            10/May/2022 ISA: JL 10/May/2023
            Page Updates:
            Section Updated Sub Section Short summary of update Updated By Updated When
            Section 1, 3 New entrant Renewed the purpose of this page; added info about new entrant and 4-year limit. ISA: JL 06/Dec/2022
            All All Page Created ISA: JL 10/May/2022