Table of Contents
- Eligibility for the post-study visa in the UK | An overview
- Benefits of post-study work visa in the UK
- Eligibility requirements for a post-study work visa in the UK
- Key takeaways
Eligibility for the post-study visa in the UK | An overview
The UK post-study work visa (UK Graduate visa or PSW visa) is for international students who have completed a degree or higher in the UK and wish to remain in the country to look for work. To satisfy the criteria for eligibility for post-study work visa in the UK, Applicants must be in the UK, have a valid study visa, and have completed a graduate or post-graduate degree to apply for a Graduate visa (or another eligible course of study). Holders of the UK Graduate visa can stay for up to two years before switching to a different visa type (e.g., the UK Skilled Worker visa) if they want to stay for longer. It is also important to note that this visa does not allow for permanent residence in the UK.
Benefits of post-study work visa in the UK
If you are an international student with a Tier-4 VISA applying for the opportunity, then, you are qualified for this visa. Keep in mind that by the time you apply, you should complete your graduate-level degree in the UK with a track record of compliance.
Once approved, eligible students on this route will be able to stay in the UK for two years after finishing their graduation/postgraduate studies.
The students can stay at work, look for suitable jobs, and even switch jobs if they want to during this time. Ph.D. students will be able to do all this for three years instead of two.
The program will begin in the summer semester of 2021. As a result, students who began their course and will complete it before or after summer are eligible for the benefits of this rule.
According to the new immigration rules, holding a skills shortage position in a job will earn the immigrant an additional 20 points. Hence, any students who meet that criteria will be able to secure residency in the UK during their extra PSW time.
You will get benefitted from this route if you are an applicant for 2020-21 sessions.
However, because of covid-19 and travel ban issues, even if you start your degree online from your home country, you still get all the same facilities for your PSW permit.
Eligibility requirements for a post-study work visa in the UK
To be eligible for PSW in the UK, you need to
possess a valid Tier 4/Student visa
As all Cambridge courses are not eligible for student visa sponsorship, they will not be eligible for the Graduate route. This includes the majority of part-time taught courses that are supported through the visitor route. Ph.D. graduates with Doctorate Extension Scheme permission are ineligible to apply for a Graduate visa.
have a Bachelor’s, Master’s, PGCE, or Ph.D. from Cambridge
Advanced Diploma, and other non-degree awarding qualifications except the PGCE, are not eligible to apply for a Graduate visa.
have completed your degree successfully
When you receive your final results and it is updated in your record to reflect completion, then you satisfy another important criterion for PSW visa in the UK. You have to successfully complete your degree for the purpose of applying for the Graduate visa. For Ph.D. students, completion is unconditional approval, which is typically the submission of the hardbound thesis.
Unless there is a change permitted under the student visa policy, you must have completed the degree for which your Tier 4/Student visa was granted. Students with a Tier 4/Student visa for a four-year Integrated Masters course are eligible to apply for the Graduate visa. This is possible only if they successfully complete their studies and exit with a bachelor’s degree and will not be continuing to the fourth year.
After updating your student record to reflect completion, you must wait until you receive an email from the International Student Office confirming that the International Student Office has notified UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) of your successful completion before applying for the Graduate visa.
Masters students who do not complete all required assessments (i.e. final submission or exam) by the original end date in their CAS should contact the International Student Office to see if they are still eligible for the Graduate visa. The eligibility might depend on whether the final results are received prior to the expiry of their current visa.
have studied in the UK for a minimum period of time on a Tier 4/Student visa
The Graduate visa requires a minimum period of study of at least 12 months OR the full length of your course, whichever is shorter.
Permitted ‘study abroad’ activities (i.e. activities that must be completed overseas as part of a course) or time spent abroad during permitted breaks from study, such as during official vacation periods or at the weekend, can be counted toward the minimum period.
If granted to study the same qualification at the University, you can complete the minimum period of study on more than one Tier 4/Student visa.
Moreover, if you change from another immigration category to a student visa during your course, you will not be eligible for a Graduate visa unless you have studied for the minimum required time on the most recent Tier 4/Student visa prior to completion.
Also, if you are changing from another immigration category to begin your studies at Cambridge, then, you can include the time spent while your application is pending in the minimum study period.
Now if in the 12 months before the date of application you have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship by a Government or international scholarship agency covering fees and living costs for study in the UK, you must provide a letter of consent from the sponsor organization to support the application.
Apply for PSW in the UK while your current Tier 4/Student visa is still valid
Due to the pandemic, some concessions were made for a PSW visa. Students who have completed a period of remote study can still apply for the Graduate route if they meet the eligibility requirements above. Depending on the course and your circumstances, you must have been in the UK by a specific date-
For a 12-month or less course that began in Lent or Easter terms 2021 and began remotely, you must have traveled to the UK to study on that course by September 27, 2021. Visit the UK prior to this date but were studying remotely elsewhere, you must have returned to the UK in time to apply for the Graduate visa before your current Student visa expires.
Beginning a course of 12 months or less in Michaelmas Term 2021 or Lent Term 2022 and beginning your studies remotely, you must have traveled to the UK by 30 June 2022 and completed the course of study by 30 June 2022.
If you are studying for more than a year, you will be eligible for the Graduate route as a result of remote study between January 24, 2020, and June 30, 2022.
If your Tier 4/Student visa expires before June 30, 2022, you must enter the UK before it expires.
- The UK post-study work visa is for international students who have completed their higher education in the UK and want to stay back in the country to search for a job.
- The students can work, look for jobs that interest them, and change jobs during the time the PSW visa is valid. Any student who satisfies the eligibility criteria will be able to secure residency in the UK.
- The basic eligibility criteria for PSW are that you should possess a valid Student visa, have a Bachelor’s, Master’s, PGCE, or Ph.D. from Cambridge, have completed your degree successfully, and have studied in the UK for a minimum period of 12 months on a Student visa
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Liked this blog? Read next: Post-study work visa in the UK | Types, and requirements
Q1. What are the ways to extend my stay in the UK after PSW expiration?
Ans- If you obtain a PSW visa after finishing your studies, then you will be able to work in any job that you find for the first two years. Following that, your goal can be to transit into a general work visa.
Q2. Does PSW in the UK get rejected?
Ans- Many applicants apply for a post-study work visa in the UK before finishing their course or dissertation. During this period, they may not foresee the possibility of failing a course or their dissertation. However, it can happen and is one of the most common reasons why a post-study work visa is denied.
Q3. Is IELTS required for PSW UK work visa?
Ans- The visa application must be submitted within 12 months of the academic program’s completion. Candidates who have not completed their degree in English are required to take the IELTS examination and achieve a band score of 6.5 in all four parts of the examination.