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Post Study Work Visas

From Summer 2021, the Graduate Immigration Route will allow international students to remain in the UK after graduation in order to work or look for work. Graduates who meet the necessary conditions will be required to apply for a Post Study Work Visa to take advantage of this opportunity. This list of frequently asked questions explains more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Post Study Work Visa?

A Post Study Work Visa allows international students to remain in the UK to work or look for work after graduation. It is valid for a maximum of 2 years (3 years for PhD graduates) and permits employment at any skill level. A Post Study Work Visa cannot be extended. However, graduates who find a skilled job and meet the necessary requirements will be able to switch to a Tier 2 Visa, which is valid for up to 5 years at a time.

Am I eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route?

A Post Study Work Visa is available to all international students who successfully graduate with a degree from a recognised UK university during or after Summer 2021. The university must be registered with the Office For Students (OfS) and you must hold a valid Student Visa at the time you submit your application. You do not need an offer of employment or a sponsor to be eligible.

I started my studies before Summer 2021 - am I eligible or not?

Students who graduate during or after Summer 2021 will be eligible, regardless of when they started their studies. Unfortunately, students who graduate before Summer 2021 will not be eligible.

What are the benefits of staying in the UK to work?

These are some of the reasons why may international students choose to begin their careers in the UK.

  • Gain valuable professional experience in your chosen career before returning to your own country. Having international work experience will make you more attractive to employers when you return home.
  • Start earning money as soon as possible after you graduate. You can earn a good starting salary as a graduate in the UK!
  • Develop your business English skills to a high level by living and working in the UK. You will gain in confidence and develop additional vocabulary related to the workplace and your professional career.
  • The UK is home to some of the most well-known and innovative companies in the world and is a great place to start a business.

How do I apply for a Post Study Work Visa?

Full details have not yet been announced, but you will have to submit a new application and pay the necessary application fees, including the Immigration Health Surcharge. There are likely to be additional conditions, for example providing financial evidence to prove that you can support yourself while you are in the UK.

Can I settle permanently in the UK?

The Post Study Work Visa does not provide a direct route to settlement in the UK and time spent in the UK on this type of visa does not count towards residency for settlement purposes. However, graduates who find a skilled job at the appropriate salary level will be able to switch to a Tier 2 Visa, provided the employer is a Tier 2 registered sponsor. A Tier 2 Visa is valid for 5 years at a time and provides a route to permanent settlement in the UK. For more information on the Tier 2 route, see Further Information below.

Also In This Section

Further Information

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is for guidance only. You should always check with the UK Government's Website (Visas & Immigration) for the latest information before applying for a student visa. Failure to follow the correct procedures is likely to result in your application being refused and could affect your ability to obtain a visa in the future.

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