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Skilled Worker Visa - This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa

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:

  • Where completion of the current course is expected, the applicant must have completed (or be applying no more than 3 months before they are expected to complete) the course. An exception applies to PhDs and other doctoral qualifications, where the applicant must have completed at least 12 months’ study in the UK towards the qualification. This is to enable Student visa holders to be eligible as a 'new entrant' and to exempt employers from having to pay for 'Immigration Skills Charge'.

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?

Student to Skilled worker:

  • You can switch to skilled worker route as soon as you have completed your course OR within the last 3 month before your official course end date, if completion of your degree is expected.

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.

Applicant’s most recent permission, other than as a visitor, was under Tier 4 (General) or the Student route.

The permission must either be current, or have expired less than 2 years before the date of application.

In that permission (or previous) permission, the applicant must have been sponsored to study one of the following courses (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 they are expected to complete) the course. An exception applies to PhDs and other doctoral qualifications, where the applicant must have completed at least 12 months’ study in the UK towards the qualification.

4-year time limit (see SW12.3 of the Immigration rules - Appendix Skilled Worker)

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 employer (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


If you have made the Skilled Worker application after completing your course, but you are still awaiting results that will confirm that you have passed, and therefore, used a COURSE COMPLETION LETTER (requested by your academic department), you will not be able to start your full-time job until:

  1. The Home Office grants your Skilled Worker visa;
  2. You have brought your new Skilled Worker visa to our Reception to update your immigration records at the University and to discharge you from the work permission attached to a Student visa.
    • This is because as long as you apply before your previous leave expires, you remain subject to the conditions of your previous leave while you wait for a decision.
    • Please check our working during and after studies page.

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

If your Student visa was issued for the purposes of studying a full-time degree-level course at a recognised body or an institution in receipt of public funding as a higher education institution (the University of Warwick is such an institution), you can start work with your sponsoring employer before receiving a decision on your skilled worker application if you have successfully completed your course and received the award

This allows you to start a full-time permanent job, which is usually not allowed before your Skilled Worker leave is granted.

You should still discuss this with your Skilled worker sponsoring employer before starting a full-time permanent job.

Even if you could start your skilled worker job before your immigration permission is granted, your employer might not want you to do this as it could lead to problems if your skilled worker application is not successful.

Your employer will let you know when you can start your job.

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