Do you want to embark on a professional journey in the UK? This is no doubt an exciting prospect. If you have been studying in the UK, the thought may come to your mind that I could stick around here to work in the UK. You are in luck, and the good news is that you can surely change student visa to skilled worker visa in UK. 

For international students, the transition from a student visa to skilled worker visa in UK can be a pivotal step. It marks the evolution from academic pursuits to practical application in the vibrant professional landscape. This shift not only opens doors to a world of career opportunities but also underscores the value of acquired knowledge in real-world scenarios.

 So, get a cup of coffee and keep on reading this guide because we will shed light on the essential steps, requirements, and much more regarding switching from student status to a skilled visa in the UK.

Requirements to Switch Student Visa to Skilled Worker Visa in UK: 

To transition from a student visa to skilled worker visa in UK, certain requirements must be met:

1-Completion of the Course:

  • The individual must have finished the course of study for which they received the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). They must be full-time and at degree-level or higher. 
  • According to the latest changes for 2023, the job should not commence before the course completion date. The UK government has made it mandatory that individuals complete their course before starting full-time employment.
  • If the applicant is a PhD student studying with a compliant education provider, the job cannot start earlier than 24 months after the course commencement. 

Employment Role and Skill Level:

Completing the studies is not the only necessity to switch student visa to skilled worker visa in UK. To fulfil your desire to work in the UK, you must also get recruited by an organization. The requirement does not end here but the employment role must also meet specific skill and salary requirements:

  • It should be identified as Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) level 3, which is similar to an A-level in the United Kingdom.
  • The role’s salary should meet or exceed the relevant “going rate,” which is currently set at £26,200 per year or £10.75 per hour, whichever is higher.

Language Proficiency:

Applicants must be fluent in English. This requirement is typically fulfilled through prior academic qualifications in the UK. The British government wants to make sure that you can communicate effectively in English before they let you work in the country. So if Shakespearean English isn’t your cup of tea, you better brush up on your language skills and aim for at least a B1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale

Financial Stability Requirements:

Most applicants must show that they have sufficient income to sustain themselves to switch from student visa to skilled worker visa in UK. This includes covering living expenses, accommodation, and other associated costs.

However, for individuals who have held a valid visa in the UK for at least one year, there may be an exemption from demonstrating a specific amount of savings. In this case, the sponsor (employer) can commit to covering the applicant’s maintenance and accommodation costs for the first month of employment, up to £1,270. 

Sponsoring Emoployer:

The issuance of a Certificate of Sponsorship, specific to each applicant, paves the way for a smooth application process to switch to student visa to skilled worker visa in UK. Are you confused about what is ceritificate of sponsorship or could it really be your key to unlocking your world of dreams? Well Yes, COS is an important requirement in switching study visa to skilled worker visa. 

A COS is a number that serves as a reference and contains details about the job along with your personal information. Your CoS number will be assigned by your sponsor. Organisations aiming to recruit international graduates play a pivotal role in this transition. Holding a valid sponsorship licence and adhering to immigration compliance duties are paramount. 

Application process:

Your dream to transition from academic to professional journey is just few steps away. The application procedure to switch from a student visa to skilled worker visa in UK is as follows:

Step 1:  To switch to a Skilled Worker Visa, you have to fill out the application form on the Home Office website. Applicants need to apply online prior to the expiration of their current visa. You may apply for a visa up to three months before your start date in the UK.This date is listed on your COS.

Step 2: You must pay the required application fees. Each person applying will need to pay the visa application fee and the healthcare surcharge for each year of their stay.

Step 3: To switch student visa to a skilled worker visa in UK, You must upload all relevant supporting documents mentioned below: 

  • your current passport or other valid travel ID
  • your CoS number
  • proof of your knowledge of English
  • bank statements
  • a tuberculosis test result if required.
  • a criminal record certificate if you’re working with vulnerable people. 

Step 4: You must provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) at the time of your visit to the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) centre. There are no extra charges for this. When you apply, you will be notified of the steps you must take.

Step 5: Wait for the visa outcome.

Who Are New Entrants?

“New entrants” refer to specific categories of applicants who may have different salary requirements. This designation allows for 70% of the relevant going rate, providing some flexibility for those just starting their careers. Graduates can indeed fall under the category of “new entrants if they meet the below-mentioned criteria:

Qualification Type:

  • Current visa issued for studying a degree, PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education), or PGDip (Postgraduate Diploma), and completion or imminent completion of the said study within 3 months of applying for the new visa.


  • Below 26 years of age at the time of application.

Visa Application:

  • Applying from their home country, with their last UK permission being a Tier 4 or student visa issued for a degree, PGCE, or PGDip. This application must occur within 2 years of the expiration of their last visa.

Specialised Positions:

  • Sponsored for a post-doctoral role in one of the six approved occupations as per guidance from the Home Office caseworker
  • Engaged in pursuing a recognised professional qualification in a field listed on the Centre for Professional Qualifications website.
  • Progressing towards full registration or chartered status with the relevant professional body associated with the sponsored job.

What To Do Next?

Transitioning from a student visa to skilled worker visa in UK is a significant milestone, unlocking a world of opportunities for international graduates. Navigating this process requires careful attention to detail, adherence to eligibility criteria, and a supportive network. With proper planning, research, and a little bit of luck, you can successfully convert your study visa to a work visa in the UK.

Our 10-year-experienced educational consultants at Studywise are here to guide you through every step of the application process. From documentation to visa grants, we ensure that you experience a smooth transition. Contact us through our website to get in touch with us.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1: Can you become a permanent resident in the UK with a skilled worker visa?

Yes, it can be a cornerstone in making you eligible for ILR.

Q2: Is it easy to switch from a student visa to skilled worker visa in UK?

With proper guidance, you can have a smooth transition.

Q3: Do you need to fulfil the English language requirement for a skilled worker visa?

Yes, it is one of the essential requirements for switching from a study visa to a worker visa.