Students

Working in the UK after your studies

Companies now face fewer restrictions when hiring international graduates switching from Tier 4/student permission in the UK, which is an advantage over students studying outside the UK.

Choose the relevant option below to find out which restrictions apply to you.

You have a job offer from an employer with a Tier 2 sponsor license

You will need a Tier 2 (General) visa 

 

To qualify for this visa you'll need:

  • job offer (graduate level, requiring degree)
  • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an employer (sponsor) with a Tier 2 sponsor license. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have a register of sponsors (note that although some employers may have a sponsor license, they may not actively recruit graduate entry international graduates)
  • £945 for a consecutive 90-day period
  • minimum wage £30,000 or published minimum wage in Codes of Practice or salary on shortage occupation list
  • initial visa for 3 or 5 years (higher application fee for 5 years), or length of contract if shorter.

You can apply to extend this visa for up to another 5 years, where your total stay is not more than 6 years. If you then leave the UK you may not be able to apply for Tier 2 again for 12 months.

For students applying overseas for jobs not on the shortage occupation list, employers must complete the Resident Labour Market Test (which requires advertising a position). For students applying in the UK for these jobs, employers don't need to complete the Resident Labour Market Test for jobs not on the shortage occupation list (which requires advertising position).

Students applying in the UK (switching from a student visa) must:

  • have a degree from a UK institution or have completed 12 months of a PhD.
  • not have spent any time studying without a valid visa, and must now have a valid student visa.

Work that you can do:

  • the job described in your certificate of sponsorship, working for your sponsor
  • a supplementary job in the same sector and at the same level, for up to 20 hours per week
  • voluntary work.

It is possible to change employer (sponsor) and job - you'll need a new Certificate of Sponsorship and you'll need to submit a 'change of employment' application.

As of April 2017, specific categories of candidates applying for the Tier 2 scheme must also provide a criminal record certificate, as per Home Office Policy Guidance.

For more information visit the UKVI website.

You are, or will soon be, a Bath graduate and would like to set up your own business in the UK

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) 

Under this scheme, visa holders will be supported by the University of Bath Innovation Centre with mentoring, training and introductions to investors, as well as office space to help build their business from Bath.

To qualify for this visa you'll need:

  • a 'genuine and credible' business idea endorsed by the University
  • degree from the University of Bath
  • letter of endorsement from the University demonstrating ability and intention to establish your own business in the UK
  • £945 for a consecutive 90-day period.

The initial grant of 1 year can extend for a further year or switch into Tier 1 Entrepreneur/Tier 2. You can apply from overseas and in the UK. Tier 2 (General) migrants can now switch into this category providing they get Tier 2 (General) permission to work as a post-doctoral researcher. 

University of Bath students interested in this scheme should contact the Student Immigration Service using SAMIS online Student Services Helpdesk. Successful candidates are likely to have participated in a University business plan competition, such as the MBA Entrepreneurship in Action, or have been a member of BANTER. Candidates may also have participated in the Bath Entrepreneurship Programme or have developed a great idea for a start-up. Start the application process.

For more information visit the UKVI website.

You would like to set up your own business and have at least £50,000 investment funds to apply

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) 

To qualify for this visa you'll need:

  • access to funds to invest in the UK: £200,000 of your own money or
  • £50,000 if switching from Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or
  • £50,000 from one or more UK Entrepreneurial seed funding competitions endorsed by UK Trade & Investment, or one or more UK Government Departments, or Devolved Government Departments in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
  • you'll also require £945 for a consecutive 90-day period, or outside the UK you’ll need £3,310.

People using this visa will receive an initial grant of 3 years. This can extend for a further 2 years. 

For more information visit the UKVI website.

You want to invest £2,000,000 or more in the UK

Tier 1 (Investor) 

To qualify for this visa you:

  • need an initial grant of 3 years (can extend for a further 2 years)
  • need access to funds to invest in the UK: £2,000,000
  • must not be investing in property

For more information visit the UKVI website.

You're a Pharmacy student and need a visa for your pre-registration year

Pharmacy pre-registration year students are covered by Tier 2. Applicants must show that they meet the Tier 2 requirements including minimum wage requirements.

You want to take part in work experience, training, or an official government scheme

This could also be an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme.

If the employer cannot sponsor you under Tier 2, then you'll need to apply for a Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa.

Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange 

The tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange also has a number of organisations through which students can obtain a visa.

To qualify for this visa you'll need:

  • tier 5 sponsor
  • job offer
  • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from sponsor
  • degree from a UK institution
  • £945 for a consecutive 90-day period.

You can apply to stay in the UK for up to a maximum of 12 months if you are doing work experience or 24 months if you are doing research, training or an Overseas Government Language programme

Applicants must also show that they don't meet the Tier 2 minimum wage requirements.

For more information please visit the UKVI website.

You're between 18 and 30 years old and a national of one of these countries (see list below)

Tier 5 Youth Mobility

You can qualify for a Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa if you're between 18 and 30 years old and a national of one of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Republic of Korea: Certificate of Sponsorship required
  • Taiwan: Certificate of Sponsorship required
  • New Zealand
  • Monaco
  • Hong Kong

Or if you're:

  • a British overseas citizen
  • a British overseas territories citizen
  • a British national (overseas). 

You'll need £1,890 on the date of application and you must return home to apply. The maximum grant is for 2 years. You can work and study full time and can take most types of employment, but you can't switch into other categories.

For more information please visit the UKVI website.

You have a grandparent born in the UK

UK Ancestry

This applies to Commonwealth citizens who have at least one grandparent born:

  • in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) or
  • before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland or
  • on a British-registered ship or aircraft.

You have returned home and would like to visit the UK for a specific engagement

For example, this specific engagement could be a permitted paid activity, such as giving a lecture, a business engagement, or a trip to secure funding for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

You may be able to obtain a visitor visa, for example a Standard visitor visa, or a permitted paid engagements visa.

You would like to settle permanently in the UK

If you're considering applying for settlement now or in the future, please note that the Immigration Rules are subject to frequent change. You must meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules at the time when you make your application.

Currently, you may be able to apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain):

  • after a qualifying period on an eligible work visa (5 years on Tier 2, not including the now closed Post Study Work category or Graduate Entrepreneur category) and meeting wage requirements (between April 2016 and April 2018 you will need to have a salary of £35,000 -which will go up in future years - or the appropriate professional salary on the code of practice)
  • after 10 years on some types of visa including student/Tier 4 (long residency), as long as you have not been out of the country for longer than 540 days (18 months) in total and for no more than 6 months at one time.

The Student Immigration Service recommends getting specialist legal advice for settlement applications, as we're not trained in this area of immigration.