On July 17, 2023, the Home Office officially updated their Immigration Rules stating that students cannot switch their Tier 4 Visa to a Tier 2 under Skilled Worker Visa without completing their education. In accordance with the change, if an application for entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain, has been made before 17 July 2023, such applications will be decided in accordance with the Immigration Rules in force on 16 July 2023.
Validity Requirements for a Skilled Worker
SW 1.1. A person applying for entry clearance or permission to stay as a Skilled Worker must apply online on the gov.uk website on the specified form as follows:
(a) for applicants outside the UK, form “Skilled Worker visa”; or
(b) for applicants inside the UK, form “Skilled Worker”.
SW 1.2. An application for entry clearance or permission to stay as a Skilled Worker must meet all the following requirements:
(a) any fee and Immigration Health Charge must have been paid; and
(b) the applicant must have provided any required biometrics; and
(c) the applicant must have provided a passport or other travel document which satisfactorily establishes their identity and nationality; and
(d) the applicant must have a certificate of sponsorship that was issued to them by their sponsor no more than 3 months before the date of application.
SW 1.3. The applicant must be aged 18 or over on the date of application.
SW 1.4. An applicant applying for entry clearance or permission to stay, who has received an award from a Government or international scholarship agency in the 12 months before the date of application which covers both fees and living costs for study in the UK, must have provided written consent to the application from that Government or agency.
SW 1.5. An applicant who is applying for permission to stay must be in the UK on the date of application and must not have, or have last been granted, permission:
(a) as a Visitor; or
(b) as a Short-term student; or
(c) as a Parent of a Child Student; or
(d) as a Seasonal Worker; or
(e) as a Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or
(f) outside the Immigration Rules.
SW 1.5A. An applicant who is applying for permission to stay and has, or last had, permission as a Student, must fulfil one of the Conditions A, B or C below on the date of application:
(a) Condition A: the applicant must have completed the course of study for which the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies was assigned (or a course to which ST 27.3 of Appendix Student applies); or
(b) Condition B:
(i) the applicant must be studying a full-time course of study at degree level or above with a higher education provider which has a track record of compliance; and
(ii) the Certificate of Sponsorship in SW 1.2(d) must have a start date no earlier than the course completion date; or
(c) Condition C:
(i) the applicant must be studying a full-time course of study leading to the award of a PhD with a higher education provider which has a track record of compliance; and
(ii) the Certificate of Sponsorship in SW 1.2(d) must have a start date no earlier than 24 months after the start date of that course.
SW 1.6. An application which does not meet the validity requirements for a Skilled Worker is invalid and may be rejected and not considered.
Please refer immigration rules appendix
In Short the Immigration Rules Say…
Any student who applies for a Tier 2 visa from a Tier 4 visa without completing their education will have their applications refused. Furthermore, these new immigration restrictions will apply to any applications submitted on or before July 17, 2023, for which a CoS has not yet been issued by the Home Office. Also, note that immigrant students are allowed to work part-time jobs, if not restricted by their respective colleges or university.