How to apply for a Post-Study Work (PSW) visa in the UK?
Receiving an opportunity to work in the UK helps graduates to enhance their skills and capabilities and adds value to their work experience in their respective fields or areas. If UK degrees are renowned and respected throughout the world so are the UK experiences.
If you wish to stay in the UK and work after your graduation, you can take the benefit of a Post-Study Work visa.
For this, students need to apply for a separate visa (other than the student visa) which allows graduates to stay and work within the country for up to two years validation period of time.
Post-Study Work/ Graduate Route in UK
The PSW scheme will come into effect from the 1st of July 2021 for International students.
As per this scheme, international students who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree or master’s degree will be able to benefit from two years of work experience in the UK upon graduation, through the new ‘Graduate Route’.
Students who completed their PhD/Doctorate degree will be able to stay and work for three years. In a similar degree, after the completion of their bachelors or master’s degree, the student can stay and work for 2 years.
The post-study work visa allows students to work or look for work after graduation which provides an opportunity for international students to boost their career.
It does not restrict the type of work or a working hour limit and the visa requirements to apply for a post-study work visa are pretty much the same as a general student visa.
You can apply for this visa after the successful completion of your postgraduate level or above from a licensed sponsor, which is the university you graduated from.
If you begin your studies in the 2020-21 academic year, you will be able to benefit from this new route, even if you begin your degree online in your home country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Graduate Route will require a new visa application, which will only be possible from the inside of the UK. It will include the payment of a visa fee of £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) at the full rate of £624 per year.
However, courses in the UK universities or colleges each have their own different entry requirements and criteria to meet so make sure to check their website for accurate information.
Also, the visa rules keep changing and individual circumstances also matter so keep yourself updated frequently as much as possible to visa announcements and their recent changes by following the official websites.
Be sure to apply for the post-graduate work visa within the 12 months of course completion so that you meet the eligibility requirements and for your postgraduate degree you will have to study a full duration course.
Stay in UK after the graduate route via a General Work Visa (Tier 2)
If you wish to stay for a longer period after your PSW visa expires, you need to find skilled job sponsorship which allows you to apply for a General Work Visa (Tier 2).
This may open /allow you to change your recent Tier 4 General Student Visa into the Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) visa category in terms of the UK visa immigration rules and systems or so on in the future.
This, however, also has its own requirements and criteria to fulfil.
Overall, a post-study work visa is a great career route for students to gain work experience and build successful life and career ahead.