Switching to Tier 2: some common problems

Blog for students
05 September 2019
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Adviser and trainer Andrew Humphrey looks at some of the common problems around securing a job with Tier 2 visa sponsorship.

Some aspects of switching from a Tier 4 student visa to a Tier 2 work visa have become more straightforward recently, especially the logistics of the visa application itself.  I blogged about this recently for UKCISA. However, whether you can apply at all starts with being offered a sponsored skilled job with Tier 2 visa sponsorship. It is this stage which can be time-consuming and tricky.  

This article looks at some of the most common problems with employers when switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2. If you need individual advice about job applications or dealing with employers, speak to the Careers Service at your university or college.

For full details of eligible jobs, minimum salary and skill levels, and eligibility for a Tier 2 application in the UK, see UKCISA's detailed guide to Tier 2 visas

Job info says you need permission to work in the UK

Application asks if you have a work permit, or says you need one

Employer does not have a Tier 2 licence

Employer thinks they must run the Resident Labour Market Test

Employer is a Tier 2 sponsor, but they say they cannot sponsor me 

Employer wants evidence of your results before they will issue a CoS


What other issues have you experienced with Tier 2 employers? Leave a Comment below. Please do not post questions asking for advice about your individual situation: if you have a question about an individual case please contact the International Student Adviser at your institution or UKCISA's students' advice line.


Andrew Humphrey is a freelance student adviser and trainer. He tweets at @andrew_humphrey.


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26 September 2019
I am wondering if I am switching to Tier 2 visa from Tier 4 student visa, but I am over 26 years old when I apply for the Tier 2 visa. Am I considered as a new entrant or an experienced worker?
26 September 2019
Vivien, this is covered at Working > Working after studies > Tier 2: sponsored skilled work > Wage level