Teacher in a staff room talking to two colleagues sat on a sofa.

Apply for your visa to train to teach in England

If you’re applying for teacher training as a non-UK citizen, you will need a visa or immigration status allowing you to study or work in England.

The information on this page is for:

  • non-UK citizens living in the UK
  • non-UK citizens living outside the UK
  • refugees or asylum seekers

You will not need a visa to train to teach in the UK if you:

If you are currently studying in the UK on a student visa, you may be able to apply for a graduate visa.

EU Settlement Scheme

If you or your family are from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, and you or a family member were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you may still be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme(opens in new window).

Check your status

If you’re not sure about your immigration status, you can check if you need a UK visa(opens in new window).

Main visa routes for teacher training in England

Most non-UK applicants for teacher training will need one of the following:

  • a student visa
  • a skilled worker visa

Student visa

For a fee-paying teacher training course, you will need a student visa. Your visa must be sponsored by a teacher training provider that is a licensed sponsor of student visas.

You can find postgraduate teacher training providers(opens in new window) which can sponsor student visas. We suggest you contact them to check they can sponsor you before you apply for a training place.

You’ll be able to apply for your visa if you:

If you are successful in applying for a student visa, your partner and children may also be able to apply to come to the UK with you(opens in new window).

Apply for a student visa(opens in new window)

Skilled worker visa

For a teacher training course where you are paid a salary, you will need a skilled worker visa. Your visa must be sponsored by the school employing you, which needs to be a licensed sponsor of skilled worker visas.

You can find postgraduate teacher training providers(opens in new window) where you can be sponsored for a skilled worker visa. Currently, places on these courses are very limited. Before you apply for a salaried teacher training place, we suggest you contact the training provider to check you can be sponsored.

You’ll be able to apply for your visa if:

Your training provider can help you submit the correct details for your visa application.

Salary requirement for a skilled worker visa

The salary threshold you must meet depends on the region you work in as a salaried trainee.

Full-time training

Non-UK salaried trainee teachers must earn a minimum salary to be eligible for a skilled worker visa – this varies by region, as follows:

  • inner London: £23,099
  • outer London: £21,832
  • London fringe: £20,960
  • rest of England: £20,960

Check the region you will be working in with your teacher training provider.

Part-time training

You may be able to train part-time, but your salary must meet the threshold for a skilled worker visa.

There are 2 requirements:

Your part-time salary must be at least £20,960.

The full-time equivalent of your salary must meet the threshold set for the skilled worker visa in your region, as follows:

  • inner London: £23,099
  • outer London: £21,832
  • London fringe: £20,960
  • rest of England: £20,960

Check the region you will be working in with your teacher training provider.

If you are successful in applying for a skilled worker visa, your partner and children may also be able to apply to come to the UK with you(opens in new window).

Apply for a skilled worker visa(opens in new window)

Graduate visa

If you are already an international student in the UK, you can apply for a graduate visa on successful completion of your degree.

To apply, you will need to have been sponsored by a Home Office licensed student sponsor over the course of your studies.

The graduate visa will allow you to study, work, or look for work in the UK for up to 2 years after completing your studies (3 years for PhD students) without a sponsor.

This includes training as a teacher on a salaried or fee-paying initial teacher training course, as long as your training provider does not sponsor student visas. If your training provider can sponsor a student visa, you must apply for this type of visa.

You will be able to switch from a graduate visa to another visa (such as the skilled worker visa) without having to leave the UK, if you meet the requirements for the new visa route.

Apply for a graduate visa(opens in new window)

High potential individual visa

To be eligible for a high potential individual visa, you must:

You do not need an offer of a place on a teacher training course to apply for this visa and you’ll be able to stay in the UK for 2 years with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and 3 years with a PhD.

If your visa application is successful, you will be able to train as a teacher on either a salaried or fee-paying initial teacher training course, as long as the course does not meet the requirements for a student visa. If the course can sponsor a student visa, you must apply for this type of visa.

Apply for a high potential individual visa(opens in new window)

India young professionals scheme

To be eligible for the India young professionals scheme visa, you must:

  • be an Indian citizen
  • be between 18 and 30 years old
  • have an eligible qualification
  • have £2,530 in savings

The visa allows you to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years. To apply for the visa, you must first enter a ballot.

Apply for the India young professionals scheme(opens in new window)

Youth Mobility Scheme visa

The Youth Mobility Scheme(opens in new window) allows young people from certain countries(opens in new window) to come to the UK to study or work without a sponsor. This includes training as a teacher through either a salaried or fee-paying initial teacher training course.

A Youth Mobility Scheme visa lasts up to 2 years. You may be able to switch from a Youth Mobility Scheme visa to another visa route (for example, the skilled worker visa) without having to leave the UK. You’ll need to meet the requirements for the new visa route.

Other visas

Depending on your personal circumstances, you may be able to work or study in the UK on alternative visas – for example:

Refugees and asylum seekers

If you have been granted refugee status, you can apply for teacher training – either salaried or fee-paying – and will usually be eligible for financial support to train to teach on a fee-paying course.

If you are in the process of seeking asylum, you should refer to your immigration bail conditions to see if you have permission to study on a teacher training course. You will not usually be eligible for financial support to train to teach on a fee-paying course. You are also unlikely to be able to undertake salaried teacher training while your asylum claim is considered, because asylum seekers do not usually have the right to work, although there are some exceptions(opens in new window).

Learn more about:

Visa fees and other charges

You will usually need to show proof of a certain level of savings or income, depending on which visa you are applying for. You’ll be guided through this process when you apply for your visa.

Visa fees

You’ll also have to pay visa fees which vary depending on which visa you are applying for.

Calculate how much your visa will cost(opens in new window).

Immigration Health Surcharge

You may need to pay for UK healthcare(opens in new window) as part of your immigration application – this is called the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

However, students can usually claim a refund of the IHS if they:

  • are a full-time student in UK higher education
  • have a visa starting on or after 1 January 2021
  • have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued in an EU country
  • do not work in the UK

Learn more about getting an IHS refund(opens in new window).

Contact

If you have general questions about the information on this page, you can email us at teach.inengland@education.gov.uk.

For help with individual applications to training providers or schools, please register with a teacher training adviser. Advisers can give you personalised support with your application.

You can also contact UK Visas and Immigration for help(opens in new window).