Tier 4 students switching to tier 2 -
a reminder


Not all Tier 4 students who graduated over the summer and wish to switch to Tier 2 will have secured a position with an employer who holds a Tier 2 licence. Careers officers and international student advisors will therefore still be fielding questions from concerned students. By way of reminder:

  • Tier 4 students who have completed their studies can work full time on their Tier 4 (General) visa, if they have work rights, on a temporary fixed term contact until their Tier 4 visa expires;
  • Tier 4 (General) students who have completed their UK recognised bachelor or master’s degree, a UK PGCE or PGDE course, or have completed at least 12 months of a PhD, can switch in-country to a Tier 2 visa without their sponsor carrying out a resident labour market test, providing their course was at a UK HEI or overseas HEI;
  • a graduate switching from a Tier 4 to Tier 2 visa will qualify for the 'new entrant' salary rate. The minimum salary varies depending on the occupation but must be at least £20,800;
  • those students who wish to switch to Tier 2 before they have received confirmation of their award will need to obtain a letter from their HEI confirming that they have completed their degree. They must wait until they have received their Tier 2 visa before commencing permanent full-time work.

Tier 4 students who are not able to switch to a Tier 2 visa in-country before their visa expires or to move to another category will have to leave the UK before their visa expires or risk overstaying. 

The immigration team at Penningtons Manches provides training and advice sessions on ‘options for international students’.  


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