Tier 1 PSW to Tier 2 General

Would you like to remain in the UK past the expiry of your Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa? Are you looking to secure Tier 2 Work Permit Sponsorship? If so Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help!If you’re a highly skilled IT, Engineering, Actuarial or Financial Services professional on a Tier 1 Post Study Work visa you may be able to ‘switch’ in country to Tier 2 General visa with one of our partners.

To find out more call now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Switching from Tier 1 PSW to Tier 2 General

If you hold a Tier 1 PSW visa you need to think about switching to Tier 2 General as soon as possible. Historically many Tier 1 PSW visa holders have gone on to secure Tier 1 General visas however this option is no longer available (Tier 1 General was closed to new applicants in 2011). The main option now is to move to a Tier 2 General visa with a UKBA licensed sponsor employing you.

This process is not straightforward and only a handful of organisations will be willing to offer sponsorship therefore it is very important to address the problem as early as possible.

At Commonwealth Contractors we work with Tier 2 licensed partners who may be willing to sponsor a Tier 2 General visa where required. To find out more call now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Making plans early, and not waiting until your visa is about to run out can make your life much easier. If you have been working on a Tier 1 post study work visa for your sponsor for 6 months before they sponsor you, then you can be sponsored without the position being advertised. Otherwise, unless you are in a recognised shortage occupation, the position will need to be advertised and you can only be sponsored if there are not enough suitable local residents applying.

The Resident Labour Market Test

You can claim 30 points for ‘Attributes’ without the sponsor needing to complete a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) if:

  • You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a Tier 2 licensed employer and you are switching from:
    • The Tier 1 Post Study Worker category, OR
    • The Fresh Talent (Working in Scotland) Scheme, OR
    • The International Graduate Scheme (IGS), OR
    • The Science & Engineering Graduate Scheme (SEGS)


  •  You have been worked for the sponsor for a continuous period of at least six months immediately prior to the date of application


  • You are applying to continue working in the same ‘qualifying’ job that you have been doing for at least the previous 6 months


If you have not been working for the sponsor in a suitable role for at least 6 months the employer will need to undertake a Resident Labour Market Test.

If your skills are not niche and can be found relatively easily in the UK resident labour market it is crucial that you work for the sponsor for at least 6 months otherwise, when the sponsor advertises and performs the RLMT, they are likely to find a suitable local applicant and hire them instead (they cant sponsor you just because they know and like you). Sponsoring employers are subject to regular UKBA audits which pay particular attention to any local applicants who are rejected in favour of a sponsored expat despite having the skills stipulated on teh advertising as needed for the job.

Finding a Skilled Job which offers Sponsorship

Finding a skilled or highly skilled job which also offers Tier 2 sponsorship can be like looking for a needle in a haystack! Many employers will offer permanent employment thinking that switching to Tier 2 General will be routine however when the time comes only a handful will be willing to proceed, leaving the unfortunate individual out in the cold.

If you’re seeking permanent employment and you hold a Tier 1 Post Study visa it is well worth raising the issue with your employer either on commencing employment or at the interview stage.

If you’re an IT, Engineering, Medical or Financial Services professional and you’re interested in working as a Consultant in the UK please contact us as soon as possible. We work with organisations who may be prepared, where required, to offer Tier 2 (Work Permit) sponsorship to individuals who are presently residing in the UK on Tier 1 Post Study Work Visas.

Find out More

To find out more about our solutions call now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!