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Skilled Worker visa: new entrants

Understand the 'new entrant' requirements for the Skilled Worker visa.


Due to the recent Government announcement relating to upcoming changes to the Skilled Worker Visa, please note this webpage is under review

To meet the ‘new entrant’ criteria, an applicant must meet one of the following requirements:

  • the applicant is under the age of 26 on the date they apply for entry clearance or permission to stay
  • the job offer is a postdoctoral position (for example, one which has a PhD listed as an essential criterion) in any of the following occupation codes:

    • 2111 Chemical scientists
    • 2112 Biological scientists and biochemists
    • 2113 Physical scientists
    • 2114 Social and humanities scientists
    • 2119 Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified
    • 2311 Higher education teaching professionals
  • the job offer is in a UK-regulated profession and the applicant is working towards a recognised professional qualification for that profession

  • the applicant is working towards full registration or chartered status with the relevant professional body for the job they are being sponsored for

  • the application is being made in the UK and the applicant’s most recent permission was as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant

  • the applicant is a recent UK graduate, or is about to graduate, and meets the following additional requirements

Additional requirements for recent graduates

To qualify as a new entrant on the basis of recent graduate-level study, an applicant must meet all of the following conditions:

  • the applicant’s most recent permission must have been as a Student (or Tier 4 (General) Student)
  • that permission must have expired less than two years before the date of application
  • in that permission (or any previous permission as a Student or a Tier 4 (General) Student), the applicant was sponsored to study any of the following:

    • a UK bachelor’s degree
    • a UK master’s degree
    • a UK PhD or other doctoral qualification
    • a Postgraduate Certificate in Education
    • a Professional Graduate Diploma of Education
  • the applicant:

    • has completed the relevant course mentioned above
    • is applying no more than three months before they are expected to complete the relevant course; or
    • is studying a PhD and has completed at least 12 months’ study in the UK towards that PhD

The applicant must be studying, or have studied, one of the courses listed on this page – equivalent-level qualifications are not acceptable.

Maximum period a worker can be sponsored as a new entrant

An applicant will not qualify as a new entrant if granting their application would mean their combined permission on either a Skilled Worker visa, Tier 2 visa and/or Tier 4 Doctorate Extension visa or Graduate visa would exceed four years in total.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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