Switching from Tier 4 To Tier 2

Work in the UK after you graduate

When finished your studies in the UK, you may have considered switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2. The Tier 2 General visa is a sponsored visa whereby you are attached to one employer for the period of your visa. This is the easiest route to switch from when currently on a student visa.

Advantages of switching to Tier 2 General from Tier 4

  • Ability to stay in the UK after your studies
  • Finally earn an income after many years of hard study
  • Can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain if you earn over £35,000 after 5 or 6 years
  • Your dependants can study or work in the UK too
  • The employer doesn’t need to complete a Resident Labour Market Test which can involve expensive advertising for the employer

How to switch into Tier 2 General from a Student Visa?

  • You will need to search for a job
  • The employer will need to be on the Home Office Tier 2 List of registered sponsors
  • You will need to meet the current maintenance requirement which will have to be held in your bank account for at least 90 days
  • The employer will have to issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) which you use in your application

If you make a mistake in your Tier 2 General application then the CoS becomes invalid and can’t be used again. This may mean you have lost the opportunity to work for that employer. This is why it is important to ensure you have all the correct Tier 2 General documents in place as specified by the Home Office and follow all the correct guidance that applies to your situation.

Examples of variable Tier 2 visa application factors for those switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2 General are:

  • previous immigration history
  • date you entered the UK
  • amount of dependants
  • type of employment
  • your nationality
  • type of sponsor

You need to account for all the above factors and make sure that every requirement as set out by the Home Office is met. You can also switch from Tier 4 to Tier 4 without the employer having to spend time on a RLMT. This makes you more desirable to hire than a migrant from outside the UK who would usually need a restricted CoS.

Switch from a Tier 4 or other student visa

You must have one of these qualifications from your Tier 4 student visa if you want to switch from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 visa

  • a UK bachelors degree
  • a UK masters degree
  • a postgraduate certificate in education
  • a professional graduate diploma of education

You must get your qualification from a UK college or University that has a Tier 4 sponsor licence

The other student visa categories other than Tier 4 are:

  • student
  • student nurse
  • student re-sitting an examination
  • overseas qualified nurse
  • person writing up a thesis
  • postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • student union sabbatical officer

PhD students

You must have completed at least 12 months study towards your PhD for your latest stay in the UK and had permission from the Home Office

If you are coming to the end of your studies and need help understand how you can switch into a sponsored Tier 2 General visa then contact us for further information