Graduate to Skilled Worker Visa Route

What does a sponsoring organisation need to do in order to sponsor an individual on the graduate visa

The graduate visa gives individuals permission to stay and work unsponsored for 2 years after successfully completing their degree and up to 3 years after a PhD or other doctoral qualification. 

To continue working for your organisation the graduate will require sponsorship and your business will need to apply for a sponsorship licence if you do not already have one. Without the licence, the trained graduate you have nurtured for 2 to 3 years, now has the freedom to seek employment in other avenues. Therefore, we would advise in applying for a licence to retain and secure their talent for the longer term and prevent potential poaching from a licence holder. 

Organisations needn’t wait the full two or three years before switching graduates to the skilled worker visa, this can be actioned at any point and prior to their visa expiry.

This short blog piece provides a basic guide to help businesses in switching their graduate migrant workers to a skilled worker visa. 

The steps highlighted below are only possible if your organisation holds a sponsorship licence. If you do not currently hold a sponsor licence and would like some professional advice, then we would love to hear from you. 

Confirm Skilled Worker Visa Eligibility

Ensure the graduate's role aligns with eligible skilled occupations approved by UKVI. Verify their qualifications and experience meet the required skill levels and the salary you wish to offer meets the minimum requirements.

You will need to show that the sponsored role is genuine and that you have a legitimate need for hiring the graduate as a skilled worker from overseas.

Gather Essential Documents

Prepare the necessary documentation, including the job description, offer letter, applicant’s BRP, passports and certificate of sponsorship.

Apply for Skilled Worker Visa

As a licensed sponsor, submit the sponsorship application to the UK Home Office, ensuring compliance with all requirements and salary thresholds.

Compliance and Legal Assistance

Adhere to immigration regulations, reporting obligations, and employment laws to ensure a smooth process.

In short, switching from a graduate visa to a skilled worker visa can be a straightforward process for businesses. 

Migrate UK specialise in providing efficient and professional guidance to streamline this process. If you require legal support during the process, please do not hesitate to contact us. Migrate UK can simplify the process, handle the legal complexities, keep you fully compliant with Home Office regulations, and on track for success. 


Copyright 2023 Migrate-UK Ltd

Migrate UK Ltd is a company registered England and Wales (Company No. 05089081) Unit 3, The Old Estate Yard, High Street, East Hendred, Oxfordshire OX12 8JY

  • OISC logo
  • ILPA Member logo