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Skilled Worker Visa - new entrants

Understand the 'new entrant' requirements under the Skilled Worker Visa route.

New entrants

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 will apply for entry clearance or permission to stay
  • the job offer is a postdoctoral position (i.e. 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 additional requirements below

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 2 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 3 months before they are expected to complete the relevant course above; 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 above – 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/Graduate Visa, would exceed 4 years in total.