Graduate Post Study Work Visa UK for International Students

1. Introduction: Graduate Post Study Work Visa UK 2023


The UK’s post-graduate work permit, designed for international students who have completed an eligible course at bachelor’s degree level or higher, offers a unique opportunity to extend their stay in the UK. This course must be from a higher education institution recognized for its compliance. It’s important to note that this pathway is unsponsored, meaning it does not require employer sponsorship. However, it does not directly lead to permanent residency in the UK.

CriteriaDetails
Dependent EligibilityFamily members already in the UK as dependents of a student can apply to extend their stay. This option is not available for other categories of dependents.
Eligibility for Dependents

The Graduate Visa does not generally count towards the 10-year long residence route for ILR. The 10-year route usually includes time on long-term residency permits, like the Skilled Worker Visa, rather than temporary or student visas.

Options for Obtaining a Work Permit in the UK After Masters

There are several pathways to secure a work permit in the UK post-masters:

Visa TypeDetails
Post-Study Work Visa (PSW)Offers a 2-year stay post-graduation for work or business. No sponsorship required.
Skilled Worker VisaRequires a job offer from a licensed sponsor, meeting skill and salary criteria.
Start-up and Innovator VisaSuitable for those starting a business, with specific criteria and endorsement required.
Global Talent VisaFor individuals in qualifying fields recognized as leaders, requiring endorsement.
Intra-Company TransfersFor employees of multinational companies transferring to UK branches.
Doctorate Extension SchemeA 12-month extension for PhD graduates to work, gain field experience, or start a business.
Options for Obtaining a Work Permit in the UK After Masters

Important Note: Visa rules and eligibility criteria are subject to change. It’s advisable to consult the UK government’s official website or seek legal counsel for the most up-to-date information.

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    2. Essential Requirements for Graduate Post Study Work Visa UK


    Key Validity Requirements for a Successful Application

    Before initiating your application, ensure these essential criteria are met:

    • Payment of application fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge.
    • Provision of biometric data at a designated center.
    • A valid passport or alternative identification.
    • Application submission within the UK.

    With key requirements met, you can start your application online, for instance, after graduating with a master’s in Computer Science from a compliant university.

    ConsiderationDetails
    Previous Student Visa StatusMust hold or have previously held a student visa.
    Limitations on ReapplyingIneligibility if previously used the Graduate route or Doctorate Extension Scheme.
    Scholarship RecipientsRequire written consent from the sponsoring entity.
    Incomplete ApplicationsLikely to be rejected; ensure completeness and accuracy.
    Special Considerations for Applicants

    General Suitability Requirements

    Understanding and meeting the suitability criteria is vital:

    • Adherence to UK immigration laws to avoid denial.
    • Clear immigration history.
    • Awareness of overstay exceptions under paragraph 39E of immigration rules.
    • Avoidance of immigration bail.

    70-Point Eligibility Criteria for Graduate Post Study Work Visa UK

    To secure the visa, applicants need to accumulate 70 points by satisfying these criteria:

    Eligibility CriteriaDetails
    Successful Course CompletionThe course must be completed at a compliant higher education institution.
    Qualification RequirementEligible qualifications range from bachelor’s degrees to specialized courses.
    Study in the UK RequirementThe duration of student permission in the UK is crucial, with COVID-19 provisions for distance learning.
    70-Point Eligibility Criteria for Graduate Post Study Work Visa UK
    • Successful Completion: The most recent course, whether bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral, must be completed successfully.
    • Institution Compliance: The last sponsorship should be from an institution adhering to immigration requirements.
    • Notification Requirement: The educational institution must inform the Home Office of your successful completion.
    • Timing of Qualification: The qualification should be earned during or immediately before the last grant of permission to study.

    Yes, a Postgraduate Diploma qualifies for the Post-Study Work Visa, provided institutional compliance and successful course completion.

    By thoroughly understanding and meeting these multi-faceted validity, suitability, and eligibility requirements, applicants can significantly enhance their chances of successfully obtaining a Post Study Work Visa in the UK.

    3. Understanding Visa Outcomes: Approval and Rejection Criteria


    The outcome of your UK Post Study Work Visa application is determined by the Home Office based on various eligibility criteria. Approval hinges on meeting all requirements; failure to satisfy any condition leads to refusal.

    Your PSW Visa duration varies with your academic qualification:

    QualificationVisa Duration
    PhD or Doctoral Qualification3 years from the date of the decision.
    All Other Qualifications2 years from the date of the decision.
    Duration of PSW Visa Based on Qualification

    Understanding these durations is crucial for effective planning during your stay in the UK.

    Once granted, the PSW Visa carries certain conditions:

    ConditionDetails
    Public FundsNo access to public funds.
    EmploymentAll forms of work allowed, except as a professional sportsperson.
    StudyPermissible with restrictions, particularly in cases requiring ATAS clearance.
    ATAS ConditionApplicable if your study falls under the Appendix ATAS requirements.
    Restrictions and Permissions Under PSW Visa

    Common Reasons for PSW Visa Rejection

    Your application might be rejected due to factors like:

    • Incomplete Application
    • Timing Issues
    • Financial Insufficiency
    • Credibility Concerns
    • Negative Immigration History
    • Non-Compliance with Visa Rules
    • Specific Ineligibility

    Awareness of these reasons can aid in risk mitigation.

    In case of rejection:

    • Consider opting for an Administrative Review, which re-evaluates the decision’s accuracy and fairness.
    • It is not an appeal but a crucial step to address potential errors in the initial decision.

    To increase your chances of approval, it is vital to thoroughly understand these outcomes, conditions, and potential reasons for rejection. Being well-prepared for your Post Study Work Visa UK application not only enhances the likelihood of success but also aids in effective future planning.

    4. Eligibility and Conditions for PSW Visa Dependents


    Dependents of Post Study Work Visa (PSW) applicants in the UK typically include partners or children. They must be linked to an applicant who is either awaiting a PSW visa decision or already has permission under the Graduate route.

    ConditionDetails
    Scholarship or SponsorshipDependents with a scholarship covering tuition and living costs need written consent from the sponsor.
    Current Status in the UKMust be a partner or child of a Student visa holder applying for or holding a PSW visa, or a child born in the UK during the parent’s last Student visa grant.
    Key Conditions for Dependents

    Failing to meet these conditions can lead to application invalidity and rejection.

    Dependents are also subject to specific suitability requirements:

    • Compliance with Part 9 of the Immigration Rules regarding refusal grounds.
    • Legal status in the UK, with certain overstaying periods potentially excused under paragraph 39E.
    Relationship TypeCriteria
    Dependent PartnerMust meet specifications in Appendix Relationship with Partner.
    Dependent ChildMust be under 18 years old at the time of application. Both parents should generally have permission to stay or be applying concurrently, with exceptions.
    Relationship Requirements
    • Arrangements must comply with UK legislation and not suggest an independent lifestyle for children aged 16 or over.
    • If suitability and eligibility conditions are met, approval is likely. Otherwise, dependents may pursue an Administrative Review under Appendix AR.
    Dependent TypePermission Duration
    Dependent PartnerExpires with the Graduate partner’s visa.
    Dependent ChildExpires with the earlier expiry date of either parent’s visa.
    Period and Conditions of Stay
    • No access to public funds.
    • Employment allowed, except as a professional sportsperson.
    • Study permitted, subject to ATAS condition for those over 18.

    Understanding and complying with these guidelines is crucial for a successful dependent Post Study Work Visa application in the UK. Meeting all criteria and adhering to procedures minimizes the chances of rejection.

    5. FAQs: Clarifying the Graduate and PSW Visa Process


    Navigating the Graduate Post Study Work Visa UK process can be complex. Here, we address frequently asked questions to clarify the UK’s post-study work visa.

    1. What is the Post-Study Work Visa (PSW Visa UK)?

      The PSW Visa allows international students to stay and work in the UK for two years after completing an undergraduate or master’s degree, and three years post-doctoral degree. It doesn’t require a job offer or sponsorship.

    2. What is the New Graduate Route?

      This is the immigration path for the PSW Visa UK, allowing students who graduated from UK institutions to stay for work or business opportunities.

    3. Who is eligible for the Graduate Post Study Work Visa UK?

      International students with a completed bachelor’s degree or higher from a UK institution are eligible.

    4. How long does the Post-Study Work Permit last?

      The permit duration is 2 years for bachelor’s or master’s degrees and 3 years for doctoral degrees.

    5. What are the requirements for applying for the PSW Visa UK?

      You must apply before your current student visa expires and after your institution confirms course completion. Requirements include financial proofs, documentation, and criteria set by the Home Office.

    6. Can family members accompany PSW Visa holders?

      Yes, dependents like a partner or child can accompany under specific conditions in the Graduate route.

    7. What was the Tier 1 Post-Study Work Visa?

      This was a category under the UK’s points-based system, allowing students to stay for work up to two years post-study. It closed on April 6, 2012, replaced by current routes including the PSW.


    Understanding these aspects is crucial for navigating the Graduate Post Study Work Visa process effectively. This Q&A format presents the information in a clear, concise manner, addressing common queries related to the Graduate Visa and PSW Visa in the UK. For further details, please refer to Appendix Graduate – Immigration Rules