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Post Study Work Visa in UK

There are lots of options available to international students who want to stay and work in the UK after their studies. On 1st July 2021, the UK Government launched the Graduate immigration route for international students. Through this Graduate Route, international students who have successfully completed their undergraduate or master' degree will be able to benefit from two years work experience in the UK upon graduation. Students who complete their PhD will be able to stay for three years.

Here's the key information: -

  • The Graduate Route will be available to international students who have a valid student visa at the time of application and who have successfully completed a Bachelor's degree, Master's degree or PhD.

  • The Graduate Route will require a new visa application, which will only be possible from inside the UK. Students will need to be in the UK and hold a valid Student (or Tier 4) visa to apply.

  • There are no requirements for students to demonstrate English ability or provide evidence of finances.

  • Students will not be automatically granted the visa: a separate immigration application will need to be made which will include the payment of a visa fee of £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge at the full rate of £624 per year.

  • The visa will allow students to work full time in most type of jobs, including self employment, but excluding working as a sportsperson or coach.

  • This visa is not extendable: students will only be eligible to apply for this route once in their lifetime.

 

If student have been studying online in your home country due to Covid-19, you can still apply for the Graduate Route, provided you meet the other requirements of the route. This is part of the UK government's Covid-19 student visa concessions.  The guidance states:

  • Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 via distance learning, and who have not previously entered the UK to study that course, will be able to make an application if they make a successful student visa application and arrive in the UK either before their visa ends or by 27 September 2021, whichever is sooner. 

  • Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 who have existing permission as a Student to study that course, and who have already travelled to the UK during that period of permission, will be able to make an application as long as they are present in the UK before the end date of their permission.

  • Students sponsored for a course lasting longer than 12 months will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate Route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021. 

For information on the Graduate Route, and to view frequently asked questions, visit the Home Office blog .

For more information and everything you need to know to apply, visit the UK government's Graduate Route guide. 

You can find out more information about working after your studies on the UKCISA website .

  • Entry dates: 

    • The UK government has confirmed that if you began a course lasting 12 months or less in 2020 or Spring 2021, and you have been studying outside the UK due to COVID-19, you will still be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route provided you successfully obtain a Student visa and arrive in the UK either before your visa ends or by 27 September 2021, whichever is sooner.

    • If you begin a course of 12 months or less in Autumn 2021 or Spring 2022 via distance learning, you must enter the UK by 6 April 2022 and complete the remainder of your study in the UK under a Student visa.

  • Under the Graduate route, you are allowed to take up extra study, but you cannot study with a student sponsor on a course which would meet the requirements of a Student visa, and you cannot study at a state school.

 

 

FAQS

  • Do I have to be studying a specific course to be eligible?

    • Students who have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above (Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD at Birkbeck) will be eligible to apply. 

  • Will I have to leave the UK to apply?

    • No, you must apply from the UK while holding a valid or Student (or Tier 4) visa.

  • When can I submit my application?

    • You can apply from the UK after Birkbeck has informed the Home Office of your final degree result. In general, Bachelor’s degrees result would be available around August, and November/December for Master’s degrees.

    • You must make this application from the UK while holding a valid Student (or Tier 4) visa. Once your application is submitted, you must not leave the UK or Common Travel Area until a decision is made.

  • Can I apply for the Graduate route more than once? 

    • No, students will only be eligible to apply for this route once in their lifetime. At the end of the Graduate route visa period, students will be expected to switch to a different immigration category, such as Skilled Work route, or leave the UK. 

  • Will PhD students who were previously granted the Doctorate Extension Scheme be eligible?

    • No. The Graduate visa's validity requirements state that an applicant who has previously been granted permission under the Doctoral Extension Scheme is not eligible.

  • How much does it cost to apply?

    • The visa application fee for the Graduate route is £700 per person and you’ll need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The IHS costs £624 per person year which needs to be paid in full when applying.

The Graduate Route