Post Study Work Permit in UK for Indian Students: About Graduate Route
UK Post Study Work Visa: Graduate Route
Students with a doctoral degree are permitted to stay for three years. A golden opportunity for those wishing to enter the professional zone in the UK, the Graduate Route is not sponsored. This makes it convenient for the graduates to pick up a job or search for one at any skill level. During this time, students can join internships or take up freelancing work in the country.
Nick Hillman, Director HEPI, stated, “The widespread skills shortages across the public and private sectors will only be filled with the help of international students already in the UK”.
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Post-Study Time-Period to be Cut
UK’s Graduate Route Visa rules may be replaced by a new norm that would cut the time period for overseas students to stay in the country after graduating and explore job opportunities. As per reports, Suella Braverman, British Home Secretary, has proposed the new change. According to the current Graduate Route Visa norms, international students can remain in the UK after completing their graduation for a duration of two years and search for a suitably skilled job. The new proposal demands shortening the duration to 6 months. Also, in case these students are unable to obtain a skilled job and work visa in the aforementioned period, they will have to exit the country.
Reports also state that this new change is not being entertained by the country’s Department of Education which is attempting to block these changes as they believe that the step might hamper the interest of overseas students planning to study in the UK.
Students intending to apply to UK universities from India may be gravely affected by this decision as the recent data revealed by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) stated that India had the highest student population in the UK. It is being said that the decision is being taken in order to curb the number of students applying for short programmes at less respectable universities.
One more proposal set forward states that international students will be able to get their dependent family members with them to the UK provided they are enrolled on a PG research-centric programme, lasting atleast two years.
Eligibility for UK Graduate Visa
Applicants should note that they should be in the UK when applying for a Graduate Route. The best part is that they do not need to give evidence of any funds and nor are they required to prove English language ability as your UK university degree will itself serve as proof of the latter. Also, students should have obtained the qualification stated on the CAS associated with a Student visa or Tier 4 visa.
In order to apply for a Graduate Visa:
- You should be in the UK
- You should have studied a bachelor’s or postgraduate or other eligible degrees from the UK for a minimum duration with your Student visa or Tier 4 student visa
- You possess a visa which is a Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
- Your education provider should have confirmed your course completion to the home office
Earlier, bachelor's or master's degree holders can stay for only four months in the UK to look for a job. With the new rules, international students can stay for two years. This is an extension of visa rule changes that allowed PhDs to stay in the UK after graduation. The UK administration wants to grow and make its STEM-related fields.
The minimum time for studies in the UK is as follows:
- You must have studied for at least 12 months, if your course duration is more than 12 months
- Your time period of study must be equal to the duration of your course if your course is shorter than 12 months. For e.g., if your course is of 10 months, you must have studied for at least 10 months in the UK
Graduate Route Application Process
Make sure that you apply for the Graduate Route before the expiry of your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa. Once your education provider has conveyed to the Home Office that you’ve successfully completed your course, you can apply for the same. Applicants will have to submit their identity and other relevant documents in order to submit their applications. Keep in mind that if you wish to do this through an appointment, it will take more time.
The decision regarding the same will be conveyed to you within 8 weeks of completing all the formalities. Applicants are permitted to stay in the UK during this time.
Charges for Graduate Route
- Two and three-year Graduate route application: £715
- Immigration Health Surcharge: £624 per year
UK Post Study Work Visa for Graduates
The UK post-study work visa (PSW UK) or work permit for the UK allows international students to stay back in the UK to search for work for a period of two years after completing their graduate studies.
This rule of staying in the UK after graduation will again makes the UK a topmost choice for international students. International students looking for other countries in Europe will again seek to study in the UK.
Can Students Work in the UK After Graduation?
The new UK post-study work visa rules allow international students to work in the UK after graduation. This rule will be applicable to bachelor's, master's and PhD graduates.
If you have pursued a bachelor’s or a post-graduation degree, then the validity of the Graduate visa will be for two years. If you have pursued a PhD or other doctoral qualification, then the validity of a Graduate visa will be for three years. The day your application for the work permit for the UK is approved will be counted as the starting day of your graduate visa.
What you can and cannot do with a UK Post Study Work Visa?
With a Graduate Visa, you can:
- Work in most of the jobs
- Search for work
- Be self-employed
- Continue staying in the UK with your children and partner, if they are eligible
- Do some voluntary work
- Travel abroad and return to the UK
Things you cannot do with a Graduate Visa
- Apply for the benefits like public funds, or the State Pension
- Work as a professional sportsperson
What to do After the UK Post Study Work Visa Expires?
The post-study work visa in the UK (Graduate Route Visa) or post-study work permit for the UK allows graduates to work to stay up to two years (or three years in case of a doctoral degree) and look for work.
Once the PSW in UK visa expires, those who are looking to stay longer in the UK need to apply for a skilled work visa or general work visa (Tier 2 visa) or any other relevant visa. However, in order to get a Tier 2 visa, the general work visa, the candidate must be getting at least £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour (whichever is higher). For some jobs, this can be higher or lower. In order to apply for a Tier 2 visa, you must have a confirmed job offer before you apply.
How to get a Job in the UK (PSW in the UK) from India?
Earlier, the UK’s immigration rules were restrictive. However, in today’s time, the government is focusing on enhancing its competitive edge. It is inviting skilled professionals to work in the destination under the Tier 2 visa program. Under this program, skilled workers from nations like India, whose occupations are on the Tier 2 shortage occupations list can request to work in the UK on a long-term basis. Given below are the details for the two streams under the Tier 2 Visa.
- Skilled Worker Visa: This visa allows you to come or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. It has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. In order to qualify for the skilled worker visa, you must work for a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office. Also, you must have a certificate of sponsorship from your employer with information about the role that you have been given in the United Kingdom. Apart from this, you must do a job that is on the list of eligible occupations and be paid a minimum salary.
- Senior or Specialist Worker Visa: This visa allows you to come or stay in the UK to do an eligible job at your employer’s UK branch. It has replaced the Intra-company Transfer Visa, previously the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term staff visa. To qualify for this visa, you must be an existing employee of an organization that has been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor, have a certificate of sponsorship from your employer, do a job that is present in the list of eligible occupations, and be paid at least £42,400 per year.
PSW UK FAQs
Q. What all can I do professionally with the UK post study work visa?
Q. What is the cost of applying for PSW UK (Graduate Route Visa UK)?
Q. Under what circumstances can I get an exemption from health surcharge?
Q. Can I extend my UK post study work visa (Graduate Route Visa UK)?
Q. Under what circumstances can the validity of my UK post study work visa become 3 years?
Q. What all documents do I need to apply for Graduate Visa UK?
- Valid ID proof that involves your passport
- If you were given a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), then you need to provide that as well
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number
- Proof of relationship with your partner or children (if applicable)
- Your scholarship or sponsorship provider also needs to provide a letter (if applicable)
Q. How long does it take to receive a decision on my UK Graduate Visa application?
Q. Can dependants apply for Graduate Visa UK?
Q. Can I cancel my UK PSW Visa application? Will I receive a refund in case if I decide to cancel the application?
Q. What all courses make me eligible for Graduate Visa UK?
- Bachelor’s degree (UK)
- Master’s degree (UK)
- PhD or Doctorate (UK)
- Law conversion course approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
- Legal Practice Course in England and Wales
- Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland
- Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland
- Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland
- Foundation programme in medicine/ dentistry
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education
- Postgraduate Diploma in Education
Q. Am I eligible for UK residence?