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How to Move to the UK Without a Degree

So, you’re thinking of moving to the UK but you don’t have a degree? Don’t worry, even with the changes to the UK visa allowances, it is possible to move to the UK without a degree, as long as you meet certain criteria.

Not sure what boxes you need to tick to make this UK move a reality? I’ve got you covered with this guide to moving to the UK without a degree. 

Family Connections

The first way to move to the UK without a degree is to have some sort of family connection.

Whether that’s because one of your grandparents was born in the UK, you’re married to a British citizen or you’ve got ties to one of the Commonwealth nations, you might be able to get a UK visa this way without a degree.

If you have family members already living in the UK, you can also apply to join them.

They have to be immediate family members like parents, children, or spouses, so you can’t use a second cousin twice removed or someone from your in-law’s side.

If you have a family member that needs long-term care, you can also become eligible for a UK visa this way, applying as a carer.

Skilled Work

The most common way to move to the UK without a degree is if you have a skill that’s on the UK’s most wanted list.

This changes all the time and you’re going to need to be able to demonstrate enough experience or relevant workplace certifications for this to fly with visa officials.

Currently, if you don’t have a degree, you need a minimum of two years of work experience in the area you’re applying for to be eligible.

There are tons of different kinds of jobs that are on the shortage list, with most of them falling into the STEM or healthcare categories.

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If you’re not scientific or engineering-minded, other roles include experienced chefs, maths or Mandarin secondary school teachers, welders, architects, dancers, graphic designers, and more.

The jobs on this list are always changing and you need to have a job already lined up with your employer willing to sponsor your application.

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Student

Don’t have a degree, but want to get one? A super cool way to move to the UK for a few years and experience a part of the country like a local is to study here.

Pretty much every university and college accepts foreign students as long as you’ve got the grades and can afford the fees. 

Although the fees for international students are higher than home students, you can work up to 20 hours a week on a student visa to help you support yourself.

Alternatively, there might be some grants or bursaries that are suitable for your situation. 

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Innovator Visa

If you’ve got a cool and different business idea that you want to start in the UK, you might be able to get this special innovator or start-up visa.

There are a few criteria you need to meet for this one:

  • It has to be a completely new business
  • Has to be innovative and like nothing else on the market
  • Is viable and shows potential for growth

If your business idea meets all of these criteria, you need to apply to get approved by an endorsing body, have a £50,000 investment (either personal, crowdfunded, or from a group of people) and have at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply. 

So, there are a few ways to move to the UK without having a degree, all with varying criteria and levels of experience or funds necessary.

If you happen to be an international elite sportsperson or coach, there’s also a visa for that, but it’s kind of a niche option! 

Of course, visa requirements change all the time, so make sure you check out the gov.uk website before you start planning your move. 

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