How to work in the UK after graduation 

Updated on: Mar 30, 2022

Learn about the provisions to stay back and work in the UK after graduation through graduate route.

In this article:

What is a post study work visa?

Many countries offer post study work visas for international students who wish to stay back in the country to gain work experience. In order to do so, you need to apply for a post study work visa towards the end of your course.

What is graduate visa?

The graduate visa is a new post study work visa introduced by the UK Government to benefit international students graduating in/after 2021. This includes students who start their course online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic as long as they are in the UK by April 2021. Undergraduate and postgraduate students can stay back for two years after completing their course, and PhD graduates can stay back for three years

You do not need your university or any other organisation to sponsor your post study work visa. You also don’t need to have a job in hand while applying. You can look for a job while holding a post study work visa.    

You are eligible to apply for the graduate visa if...

  • You hold a student visa while applying for post study work visa.
  • You successfully completed your degree/course in/after 2021.

When to apply for your graduate visa?

You need to apply for your graduate visa before your student visa expires. You will not be eligible to apply if your student expires. Ideally, you can start your post study work visa application process towards the end of your course. 

FAQs on post study work visa

Are there any work restrictions in graduate visas?

There are no restrictions on the type of work or minimum salary level. You can take up any work opportunities. 

Is there a fee to apply for a graduate visa?

Yes, you will have to pay a fee while applying for your post study work visa. You’ll also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge for medical insurance.

What to do after your graduate visa expires? 

You cannot extend the duration of your post study work visa. If you find a job while holding a post study work visa, you can apply for a general work visa or skilled work visa before it expires.

Are dependents eligible to work in the UK? 

Yes, dependents of post study work visa holding postgrads are permitted to work.