Monday, 26 March 2018

What's next after Tier 4 Student Visa? Options.

If you currently have a UK Tier 4 Student visa, you must be wondering what to do after completing your course. We have a dedicated webpage on our website:

Please note: below is only a simplified summary. For individual advice please book our Advice Session, which can be conducted over email or face-to-face at our office in the City of London.

Option 1: Tier 2 (General) sponsored work visa.

You need to be offered employment by a licensed Sponsor (employer) and a Certificate of Sponsorship. There is no need for the employer to advertise your job. Minimum skill level NQF6, minimum salary £20800 or as on the Code of Practice, whichever is higher. More on salaries on our post here:

The outcome is a visa for up to 3 years (can be longer but the rules will be stricter than above). You can only work for your sponsor. Same-day service – Yes, and this is something we regularly assist with!

Option 2: another Tier 4 Student visa.

You may wish to continue your studies in the UK, for which you’d need a new CAS. There has to be academic progression, such as from Bachelor to Master. Beware: there is an overall limit of the number of years you can spend studying in the UK. The new visa duration will be based on the duration of your new course. Same-day service – Yes, and again this is something we regularly assist with:

Option 3: Tier 1 (Entrepreneur). 

For those with entrepreneurial spirit and access to £200000 in funds which can be yours or can be provided by the family or unrelated sponsor/lender. You will have to start a new business or to join/buy an existing business in the UK. You will have to apply from outside the UK unless you have £50000 from the specified sources (a UK government department, for example). You also need a good business plan that covers Entrepreneur-specific requirement, such as creating jobs for the settled workers. The most important – and most overlooked - component in this category is “genuineness”, You have to genuinely intend to run a business in the UK. You have to look (on paper and at the interview) as reasonably able to do so.

Admittedly, this option is not for the faint-hearted! Fortunately, we have vast experience of successful applications and we also help with the business plans, using our own unique approach based on our immigration law practice. We also have our very own original series 10 Weeks of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa tips:

Option 4: Spouse/Partner Visa.

A very popular route! You have to be married to a British citizen (or to someone with permanent residency status). You can also qualify as an unmarried partner if you have lived together for 2 years. There is a strict Financial Requirement (£18600) but if you meet it, you could switch while in the UK and then work without restrictions. Same-day service – Yes, and we assist with such applications on the daily basis! You can find more on our website, Spouse Visa page:

Option 5: Visa as a family member of a European /EEA citizen. 

Similar to the previous option but based on the marriage or relationship with an EU/EEA citizen (but not a UK citizen). This option will be subject to Brexit but at the moment the Rules remain the same as before the Brexit vote. There is no strict Financial requirement but your European partner has to meet certain requirements. The outcome is a visa for 5 years and allows to work without restrictions. The downside in this otherwise very good option is postal submission (no same-day service) available) and may take up to 6 months. You can find more on our website, Family members of European EU/EEA citizens page:

Option 6: Dependent visa. 

If your spouse/partner has a UK visa, such as Tier 2 or Tier 1, you can switch to a visa ”dependent” on theirs. Your visa will be for as long as the main visa holder’s. Same-day service – Yes!

Last but not least – Legal Residence of 10 years.

Here you can combine all UK visa types, as long as you can show 10 years of continuous legal residence. There are extensive rules on what constitutes “continuous” and “legal” and there are very strict rules on absences from the UK, but if you are able to satisfy them – you may be able to qualify for permanent residency! Same-day service – Yes!

For individual advice or to make an application please contact us: or visit: We respond emails on the same working day and have almost 100% success rate!

1st 4Immigration Ltd, authorised by the OISC, ref 200800152. We operate at the highest Level 3 of expertise. Office address: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4M 7DZ.

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