UK Post Study Work Visa

The United Kingdom offers an attractive pathway for international students who wish to stay and work in the country after completing their studies. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll learn the details of the UK Post Study Work Visa, including its key features, eligibility criteria, documents for application, benefits and more.

What is a UK Post Study Work Visa?

The UK Post-Study Work Visa, officially known as the Graduate Route, is a valuable opportunity that allows eligible graduates to gain practical work experience, explore career opportunities and contribute to the UK’s economy. It has been designed for international students who have just graduated from a UK university. It grants you permission to stay and work in the UK for a minimum of two years after completing your studies.

Below are the key features of a Graduate Route Visa:

Duration: The Graduate Route allows eligible graduates to stay in the UK for up to 2 years (3 years for PhD graduates) after completing their degree. This period provides ample time for graduates to gain work experience, explore career opportunities, and consider long-term plans in the UK.

Work Rights: Visa holders under the Graduate Route have the freedom to work full-time, part-time, or as self-employed individuals during their stay. They can switch jobs without needing sponsorship from their employer, making it a flexible option for career development.

Job Search Period: Graduates have a grace period of several months (usually up to 2 years) after obtaining their degree to search for suitable employment and secure a job. This flexibility allows them to find roles that align with their qualifications and career aspirations.

Transition to Other Visas: Successful applicants may transition from the Graduate Route to other work visas, such as the Skilled Worker Visa if they meet the eligibility criteria. This pathway facilitates a seamless transition for graduates who wish to continue working and residing in the UK.


To be eligible for the UK Graduate Route (formerly Post-Study Work Visa), you’ll need to meet a few key requirements:

  • While applying, it’s necessary to be in the UK.
  • You must have a valid Tier 4 (General) student visa at that time.
  • You must have completed a qualifying undergraduate or postgraduate degree program in the UK.
  • Your degree must be awarded by a higher education provider approved by the UK Home Office.

Documents Required 

You need to provide all of the following with your application:

  • A legitimate passport or other form of travel documentation proving your nationality and identification
  • If you have been issued your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) when you applied for a student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
  • Your Tier 4 (General) student visa or your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number from the time you applied for your student visa
  • When your education provider provided you with a place on the course you had completed using your student visa, they must have shared your CAS reference number. Ask your education provider what it is if you are unable to find it.

Additional documents

The following may be requested of you, depending on the circumstances:

  • evidence of your relationship with your partner or children if they apply
  • a letter validating the approval of your application from the sponsor or scholarship source, if they paid your living expenses and fees last year

You will also need to submit a certified translation if your documents are not in Welsh or English.

UK Post Study Work Visa Fees

Applying for a Graduate visa needs the following to be done:

  • pay the application fee of £822
  • for each year you want to stay in the UK, pay the healthcare fee, which is usually £1,035

The amount which is UK Post Study Work Visa Fees you must pay will be informed to you at the time of application.

Benefits of the Post Study Work Visa

The Visa offers multiple benefits for international students and graduates:

  1. Career Opportunities: Graduates can explore diverse career opportunities in the UK, gain valuable work experience and enhance their professional skills.
  2. Flexibility: The visa provides flexibility to work in various sectors and roles, switch employers, and pursue self-employment ventures.
  3. Pathway to Settlement: Successful applicants may be eligible to transition to other work visas or apply for settlement in the UK, depending on their circumstances and visa history.
  4. Cultural Experience: Graduates have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the UK’s culture, society and professional environment, promoting personal and professional growth.
  5. Networking: The visa allows graduates to build professional networks, connect with industry experts and establish beneficial contacts for future career advancement.

In conclusion, the UK Post Study Work Visa offers a valuable opportunity for international students to stay and work in the UK after completing their studies. With its flexible work options, pathway to settlement and numerous benefits, the visa program supports the UK’s goal of attracting and retaining skilled talent from around the world.

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