How To Switch From A Student Visa To A Skilled Worker (2024)

switch from student to skilled worker

Switch From A UK Student Visa To A Skilled Worker

The Skilled Worker Visa is the main route for skilled individuals looking to immigrate to into the UK, particularly for those transitioning from a Student Visa. As we begin 2024, it’s key for applicants to understand the details of the transition from a student visa to a skilled worker, especially under the new rules for students in 2024

Requirements for Switching From a Student to a Skilled Worker

In order to transition from a Student Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa you must adherence to specific requirements set out by Home Office

  1. Completion of Studies: In order to transition you must first fully complete your course. This step is non-negotiable and forms the foundation of your eligibility.
  2. Job Offer and Sponsor License: A pivotal step is securing a job offer from an employer who holds a valid sponsor license. This shows you have not just a job opportunity in the UK,  but the commitment from a certified employer to invest in your potential.
  3. Minimum Salary Requirements: Understanding and meeting the salary threshold, currently set at £26,200, but soon to be expected to increase up to £38,700, is crucial.
  4. Eligible Occupation List: Your job role must also fall under the occupations listed by the Home Office, ensuring that your skills contribute to the UK’s labour market needs.
  5. English Language Proficiency: Fluency in English, both written and spoken, is a mandatory criterion, which you must prove via a English Language Test, unless you have graduated from a Batchelor’s, course that was taught in English.
  6. Financial Maintenance: Demonstrating your financial independence is key unless this requirement has already been satisfied under the Student Visa.


Lower Salary Requirements for New Entrants and PhD Holders

New Entrants: If you fall into the category of new entrants, the salary requirement is lowered to 70% of the standard rate. This reduction is applicable if you’re under the age of 26 or if you’re actively pursuing a recognised qualification or working towards obtaining full professional status.

Ph.D. Holders: Individuals with a Ph.D. in a relevant field benefit from an adjusted salary threshold, ranging from 80% to 90% of the standard rate, depending on their specialisation. This adjustment recognises the significance of advanced academic achievements in the UK job market, making it more accommodating for Ph.D. holders to meet the required criteria.


Application Process for the Skilled Worker Visa

When switching to a Skilled Worker Visa, the process involves a series of structured steps, each critical to the success of the application:

  1. Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): A valid CoS from your UK sponsor is the first step, serving as a formal endorsement of your employment.
  2. Application Form and Fees: The online application process is streamlined but requires attention to detail. The associated fees vary based on the visa length and role.
  3. Proof of Identity: Offering options for identity verification, this step ensures the authenticity and security of the application process.
  4. Supporting Documents: Tailoring your application with the necessary documents is crucial for a comprehensive representation of your eligibility.
  5. Potential Interview: An interview with the Home Office might be required, offering an opportunity to personally underscore your suitability for the visa.
  6. Application Deadline: Timing is critical; applications must be submitted before the expiration of the Student Visa to avoid legal complications.

Application Fees and Processing Times

Understanding the financial and temporal aspects of switching into a Skilled Worker Visa is crucial for applicants in planning:

  1. Standard Fees: These vary based on the visa duration and the specific role, with different rates for visas lasting up to three years and for longer durations. Additionally, roles on the shortage occupation list attract lower fees.
  2. Immigration Healthcare Surcharge: An additional fee, the healthcare surcharge, grants access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), reflecting the country’s commitment to the health and well-being of its skilled workers.
  3. Processing Times: Typically, the decision process takes up to 8 weeks under the standard service. However, expedited services are available for an additional fee, offering faster response times.


Combining Visas for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

Time spent in the UK on a Student Visa usually doesn’t contribute towards Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) eligibility. Nevertheless, there are opportunities to integrate various visa durations, particularly through the 10-year-long residence route. This understanding can help more unlock legal avenues for attaining ILR, marking a significant milestone on the path to permanent residence in the UK.

 How Primus Solicitors Can Help

At Primus Solicitors we provide expert assistance for switching visas, offering comprehensive services tailored to each client’s unique needs. Our support covers eligibility verification, application preparation, and submission, making the usually complex process more manageable. Our Experts also offer personalised guidance on visa route selection, document checks, and keeping in contact with the Home Office, ensuring a smooth transition for their clients.



As we start  2024, the area for switching from a Student Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa in the UK continues to evolve. In this comprehensive guide aims to have informed you with the necessary knowledge and resources for a successful transition into a Skilled Worker Visa from a Student. Despite the intricate process, with the right planning and professional guidance, it’s a journey worth embarking on for those seeking to extend their professional horizons in the UK.

If You’re in Need of Expert Legal Advice for you Skilled Worker Visa, Student Visa, or Switching Between the Two, Don’t Hesitate To Contact Our Legal Professional at Primus Solicitors or call our Office Directly via 0161 222 5860 

2 thoughts on “How To Switch From A Student Visa To A Skilled Worker (2024)

  1. Ratheesh says:

    I’m starting my job on 01st Jul 24. I’ve already received my COS mentioning job start date as 01st Jul.
    My course end date on the CAS is 26th Jul. Since my course end date is after the job start date, when should i apply to switch from student visa to skilled worker visa ?

    • Primus Sollicitors says:

      Good afternoon, would it be possible for you to contact our offices to discus your case further? Our contact number is 0161 222 5860, thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *