This page is about the options for switching within the UK from Tier 4 to a work visa. We also have separate information for those who want to work between the end of their studies and the end of their Tier 4 visa: see Work with Tier 4 leave when you are no longer studying.
Within the information about each scheme, you will find links to the relevant Immigration Rules, guidance for applicants and for Home Office caseworkers, and the appropriate application forms.
If you are an international PhD student, there is also an immigration toolkit available to read on the jobs.ac.uk website.
Under many of the work schemes, your spouse or civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner and children can apply to stay in the UK with you, or join you here. All immigration applications normally include an immigration health surcharge.
If you want to discuss your eligibility for a specific scheme or if you need further advice, an International Student Adviser or a Careers Adviser at your institution may be able to advise you further, if they have expertise in immigration schemes for workers. For schemes sponsored by an employer or other body, the sponsor itself will normally be the best source of advice. Some law centres, and other advice centres have immigration specialists who will provide some basic advice free of charge. Some private solicitors also specialise in immigration law, although they will charge you a fee for their advice. We have further information on seeking advice here.
The government has announced that a new immigration system that will operate from 1 January 2021. This will include some new arrangements for working in the UK. We will amend this page as any new schemes come into law, but meanwhile see The UK's points-based immigration system: policy statement, published on 19 February 2020.
- These are only the options which allow you to apply in the UK. There are also Other Options for which you will need to apply in the country where you live.
- Check the requirements of the specific work or job, as well as the requirements of the scheme. For example, while some schemes in theory allow you to apply before you have completed your course and obtained your qualification, the employer's job specification may require the qualification.
- To protect your immigration status, you must apply before your current immigration permission expires.
- If your fees and living costs have been been sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency for your studies, most of the schemes require that you obtain their written consent before you apply.