Tier 4 Switching to a Tier 2 company with no sponsor licence

Tier 4 Switching to a Tier 2 company with no sponsor licence

The Tier 4 visa route is an excellent option for those looking to study in the UK, but once it has finished you may be entitled to switch routes to a Tier 2 general migration visa. The Tier 2 visa allows you to live and work in the UK for a period defined by the visa.

Switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2

At the end of your studies you will be able to work full time until your visa ends; but if you wish to stay in the UK after this point, then you will need to make alternative arrangements. One of the potentials for an alternative arrangement is to switch to a Tier 2 general migration visa.

To apply for a Tier 2 visa you must seek employment with a sponsor licence holder. Unfortunately, there is no alternative to this.

  • There are other conditions of Tier 2 as laid out below:
  • Must be employed by sponsor licence holder
  • Must be offered a graduate level job
  • Must meet the minimum salary requirement
  • Must offer you a certificate of sponsorship (COS)
  • Maintenance funds (to show that you can support yourself for a defined period)
  • English language skills (This will be tested)

You are eligible to apply to switch visa routes if you are in the UK on a Tier 4 visa but must apply before it runs out.


Once you have found appropriate employment, your new employer will give you a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) once you have this you will be eligible to apply to switch from your current Tier 4 visa to the new Tier 2 general visa.

What happens if I don't find employment before my visa expires?

Unfortunately, if you do not find employment before your visa ends then you will be classified as an over stayer. The expectation is that once your visa runs out you will return to your country of origin. This means that it is imperative that you attain a job as soon as possible before your current visa runs out and give yourself the best chance of staying in the UK.

There is a centralised database of sponsor licence holders and you can try to find employment with one of these businesses. Many of them will welcome foreign students who have finished their studies due to their level of flexibility in working and their highly educated status. The UK is an excellent option for coming to work from abroad, especially if you have studied here already.

How we can help

If you need help with your visa status or application then please get in touch. As specialist immigration lawyers, we are well versed in dealing with switching visa routes and are well placed to advise you. So give yourself the best chance of success by getting specialists in your corner. Get in touch today and let us help you with your visa queries.

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