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New Changes for UK Student Visa Holders Switching to Work Visa Routes

Changes for UK Student Visa Holders Switching to Work Visa Routes

Recent amendments by the UK government, which has introduced significant changes for Student Visa holders aiming to transition to work visas. This blog update delves into what these changes entail and how they impact students planning to extend their stay in the UK through employment.

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Key Changes for Transitioning to Work Visas

  1. Revised Eligibility for Work Routes

Student Visa holders who commenced their courses after January 1, 2024, now face a set structure in transitioning to work visas. Notable work visa routes available include Skilled Worker, Global Talent, and Innovator Founder among others. Previously, students could apply for work visas before completing their courses if they had a job offer. However, under the new rules, they must complete their degree-level courses before applying for a work visa, aligning with the government’s goal to ensure that study remains the primary reason for their stay.

  1. Special Provisions for PhD Students

An exception is carved out for PhD students, who can switch to a sponsored work route 24 months after the start of their course without completing their studies, recognizing the unique nature and duration of PhD programs.

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Why the Tightening of Rules?

The motivation behind these stricter regulations traces back to concerns over the misuse of the Student Visa route as a backdoor to employment in the UK. Historical context reveals that similar concerns prompted changes back in 2012, aimed at curbing the number of students staying in the UK under the guise of studying while primarily seeking employment.


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Impact on Current Students

While these changes may seem restrictive, they reflect the government’s ongoing efforts to balance attracting genuine students to its world-class educational institutions while preventing the misuse of the visa system. For students currently studying or planning to study in the UK, these changes underscore the importance of completing their education before pursuing employment opportunities.


Working While Studying in the UK

Despite these restrictions, full-time Student Visa holders are still permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays. This provision helps students support themselves financially and gain work experience while studying in the UK.


** Want to work in UK? V&I is here to help you.


For international students in the UK, understanding these new visa regulations is crucial for planning their education and career pathways. By ensuring compliance with these new rules, students can fully leverage their UK education towards successful career opportunities post-graduation, all while aligning with the government’s immigration policies.

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