Introduction

You’ve made happy memories in your student residence, and now you’ve finished your studies – what next? If you’re an international student looking to work in the UK after university, you’ll need to apply for a Graduate Route post study work visa. You’ve likely got a lot to consider so we’ve taken a look at the process and put together a handy overview to help you decide if it’s the right next step for you.

What is a post study work visa?

It’s essentially a permit to allow international students graduating in 2021 to live and work in the UK after they’ve successfully completed a course of study. If you’re already in the UK, this is a separate visa to your Tier 4 student visa. You will need to apply for the Graduate Route post study work visa before your existing one expires.

How long does a post study work visa last?

Provided you meet the eligibility criteria for a post study work visa in the UK, you’ll be allowed to stay and work for two years after completing your undergraduate or Masters degree in any subject. You can stay up to three years if you have completed a PhD.

How much does a post study work visa cost?

The Graduate Route post study work visa will require a new visa application and includes the visa fee payment of £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge at the full rate of £624 per year.The Graduate Route post study work visa will require a new visa application and includes the visa fee payment of £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge at the full rate of £624 per year.

Am I eligible to apply for a post study work visa?

The scheme is open to international students who have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above, from 2021 onwards. It must be from a Higher Education institution with a track record of compliance. If you’re currently in the UK you must have a valid Tier 4 student visa. Eligibility isn’t restricted by subject area or nationality. There’s no need for you to have a job secured, and there’s no limits to the type of work you can do.

Unfortunately, students graduating in 2020 will not be eligible to apply.

What countries can I apply for a post study work visa form?

Normally, you’d have had to study your degree in the UK, however, due to COVID-19 and its restrictions on travelling, the UK government is temporarily allowing students studying remotely with UK institutions to apply in 2021. The only caveat is you must arrive in the UK before 21st June 2021, if your degree started in the autumn, or 27th September 2021 if it began in January or February.

How do I apply for a post study work visa in the UK?

The full details on the application process are currently unavailable, however, this fact sheet and the UK government website should help get you started. Or, speak to someone at your university’s international students office as they should also be able to help you.
We hope this guide has helped you consider whether a post study work visa in the UK is right for you. At Collegiate, we’re committed to offering students a first class experience, that’s why you’ll find a host of useful and practical information on our blog pages. From helping international students get settled to taking care of your mental health while studying, we’re here to help you make the most of your university experience
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