UK Post–Study Work Visa

In an international poll, 40% of students reported that working after graduation was a determinant to study where they did. UK Post-study work visas allow graduates of study abroad programs to work in nearly any employment role for a few years before returning home. This article focuses on how to get a UK Post–Study Work Visa 2022 and the Countries that offer The Best Post-study Work Visas.

UK Post–Study Work Visa

Countries With The Best Post-study Work Visas:

These English-speaking nations offer the best post-study work visa plans for international students based on the length of stay if you want to stay abroad following your studies.

1. New Zealand:

Like most work visas, you can not only stay in New Zealand for an extended period, but you can also sponsor visas for your partner and children. You can only receive this visa once unless you finish another higher education that takes at least 30 weeks to complete unless you finish another higher education. This post-study work visa does not accept studies in English at a language school as a qualification. Students who completed off-campus or distance learning qualifications through an Auckland provider are eligible for the same post-study work visas as on-campus students.

Depending on your qualifications, where you studied, and whether you’re going for ‘work-related registration’ such as a teaching certificate, the length of your stay will be 1, 2, or 3 years. Acceptable qualifications: A level 4 or higher qualification from a recognized New Zealand educational institute, with 4 being a certificate and 10 being a Doctoral degree

2. Canada

A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is available to students who have graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI). They must be in Canada on a valid temporary visa or have left the country, and they must demonstrate that they were full-time students during their academic periods. Students must also show that they did not receive assistance from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and completed more than half of their courses in class, among other requirements.

Duration of stay: Up to three years, with the duration of the permit often matching the duration of the qualifying program. Acceptable qualifications: An 8-month to 3-year study program from a DLI leads to a recognized qualification.

3. Australia:

Australia has extended its post-study work visas for Hong Kong passport holders to 5 years to attract and retain students and workers as part of its skilled visa program. You must be under 50 yrs, have a valid visa, and communicate in English. Like the one in New Zealand, this visa permits you to bring your immediate family to Australia. For the duration of your stay, you must have proper health insurance.

Duration of stay: 5 years for Hong Kong passport holders; up to 18 months for post-study work visa holders; and 2-4 years for other visa holders (depending on the qualification) the Work Permit for Postgraduate Students. Acceptable qualifications include a Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students degree (CRICOS) course, certificate, or trade certification. Completed over at least 92 weeks.

4. United Kingdom

In a 2018 poll, three-quarters of British respondents stated they supported international graduates getting a Post-Study Work Visa. International students could only stay in the UK for four months after graduation until recently. This was extended in 2020 under the “graduate route” of the Post-Study Work (PSW) visa. Dependents of Post-study work visa holders will have “near-full access to the UK labor market and can work at any skill level” starting in 2021. With the unveiling of a new International Education Strategy, the government now requests to extend the visa to four years. This reform would ensure that the United Kingdom remains a desirable study abroad destination.

Length of stay: Graduates may stay for up to two years; Ph.D. graduates may stay for up to three years beginning in 2021; there is a dialogue of extending this to four years.

Acceptable qualifications: International students enrolled in 2020 or later and graduate from a recognized higher-education provider on a Student or Child Student visa, which replaced the Tier 4 (General) student visa in October 2020.

5. United States

International students have historically flocked to the United States. Optional Practical Training (OPT) is divided into two categories: Pre-Completion OPT, which is utilized while the student is still in school, and Post-Completion OPT, which is used after the student has completed their studies. F-1 visa holders must be present and apply no later than 60 days before their studies are completed. They also have 90 days to find work.

Length of stay: 1 year after completing your study or up to 6 months for M-1 vocational visa holders; up to 3 years for STEM graduates with a 24-month special extension after the first year.

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To apply for OPT, students must hold an F-1 visa and be enrolled full-time at a school that has been approved by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Check that you meet the application conditions before applying for a post-study work visa. Visa requirements differ by country and location, and they might alter at any time. The most up-to-date travel restrictions and visa information can be found on government immigration websites.


Concept of Post-Study Work Visa in the UK

After successfully finishing a program in the UK, a post-study work visa allows you to stay in the UK for at least two years. During this time;

  • Students are not required to demonstrate English proficiency or provide financial documentation.
  • Students will not be granted the visa automatically; they will need to submit a separate immigration application, which will include paying the visa cost (£700) and the full rate of the Immigration Health Surcharge (£624 each year).
  • Students will be able to work full-time in various jobs, including self-employment, but not as a sportsperson or coaches.


If all of the following apply to you, you can apply for a Graduate visa:

  1. To apply, students must be in the UK and hold a valid Student (or Tier 4) visa.
  2. Your current visa type is a Student or Tier 4 (General) Student Visa.
  3. Students with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, or Ph.D. can apply for a Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa.
  4. Your education provider (such as a university or college) has informed you that you have completed your course successfully.
  5. Determine whether your course qualifies and how long you must have studied in the United Kingdom.

If you aren’t qualified for a post-study work visa, you may be eligible for another type of visa.


Post-study work visas in the UK are valid for two years. If you hold a Ph.D. or other doctorate certification, it will last three years. Permission to stay under the Graduate route in the UK will allow international students to work or look for work for two years, or three years for Ph.D. students, after completing their studies. Work can be in any field and at any level, and there are no minimum salary restrictions or visa sponsorship requirements. After completing their degree, students on a Tier 4/Student visa will need to apply in the UK to be permitted this procedure. Because there are special eligibility conditions, you should carefully read the information on this page.

After you’ve finished your degree and your Tier 4/Student visa is still valid, you can work full-time. However, there are some limits on the type of work you can do. The validity of your visa will begin the day your application is approved. If you want to stay in the UK for a more extended period, your post-study work visa is not extendable. You may, however, be eligible to change to a different visa, such as a Skilled Worker visa. Check to see if you can stay in the UK on a different sort of visa.


How To Apply for a post-study work Visa:

  1. You must submit your application online.
  2. If your partner and children are eligible, they can also apply to stay in the UK.


When To Apply:

  1. You must apply before your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa expiration.
  2. You can apply after your education provider (your university or college) has informed you that you have completed the course you were enrolled in on your Student or Tier 4 (General) student visa. You are not required to wait until you have received your diploma or certificate.

You’ll need to establish your identity and give your documents as part of your application. If you require an appointment to complete your application, it may take longer. When you start your application, you’ll find out if you need one. After you’ve applied online, verified your identification, and submitted your documents, you should receive a decision on your visa within 8 business days. Suppose you started a 12-month or less course in 2020 or Spring 2021 and studied outside the UK due to COVID-19.

The UK government has confirmed that you will still be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route in the UK if you successfully obtain a student visa. And arrive in the UK before your visa expires or by September 27, 2021, whichever comes first. If you start a 12-month or less distance learning program in Autumn 2021 or Spring 2022, you must enter the UK by April 6, 2022, and finish the remainder of your studies in the UK on a student visa.

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Application Cost:

When applying for a post-study work visa 2022, you must:

  1. Pay the application fee of £700, usually the case.
  2. Pay the healthcare surcharge, which is typical £624 per year in the UK.

Check to see if you’re eligible for the Healthcare Worker visa if you’re a doctor or nurse or work in health or adult social care. It is less expensive to apply for, and you will not be charged an annual immigration health surcharge. You may be eligible for a refund if you get a job in public healthcare after paying the healthcare surcharge.


Advantages Of A Post-study Work Visa 2022

  1. Work in the majority of jobs
  2. You can be self-employed if you look for work.
  3. Stay in the UK with your partner and children and do volunteer work if eligible.
  4. Travel abroad and then return to the United Kingdom

After completing their degree at Birkbeck, this visa allows students to stay in the UK and work for two years. Ph.D. candidates will be given three years to complete their studies. If your application is approved, you will receive a detailed description of what you may and cannot do with a Post-study work visa 2022.


Disadvantages Of Post Work:

  1. If your chosen course is not eligible for a student visa, you can only study through the Graduate route 2022. Alternatively, if your course qualifies for a Student visa, you can extend your Student visa.
  2. You might need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if you’re studying or researching sensitive topics.
  3. You are unable to work as a professional athlete and apply for most benefits (public funds) or the State Pension.
  4. This visa cannot be extended. This method will only be available to students once throughout their lifetime. It won’t affect your settlement rights.
  5. Applicants must have studied for a minimum of one year in the UK, except for permitted study abroad programs or when distance learning was required due to COVID-19.
  6. You can take extra classes under the Graduate route, but you can’t study with a student sponsor on a course that would qualify you for a student visa, and you can’t go to a public school.


Working Conditions with Post Student Work Visa:

Students should be aware of the University’s employment limits, often stricter than the number of hours a student visa allows them to work. During term time, a student visa for full-time degree studies permits you to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week. This is limited to a total of 20 hours per week, including paid and unpaid work for one or more organizations. The 20 hours can’t be spread out over a longer time. The Home Office defines a ‘week’ as a period of seven days commencing on Monday. This includes both rewarded and unremunerated work.

As indicated, the University places more limits on employment hours, and you will need to adhere to these. You can work full-time during official vacation periods if you have a student visa for full-time degree-level studies. Academic and vacation dates vary based on the level of education you are pursuing, so double-check before starting full-time work. Unless part of your program, this includes a full-time internship or employment. Please remember that students under the graduate route do not have the same term and vacation dates as undergraduates.

Master’s students should contact their faculty or department for more information about official vacation periods. The academic year for postgraduate research students runs from October 1 to September 30. As a result, a postgraduate research student cannot work full-time over the summer. While vacations are allowed at times agreed upon with your supervisor, these are not periods that will enable you to work full-time. Whether or not you can work after submitting your thesis for assessment depends on the stage of the process.


Type of Work

Students with a student visa are allowed to work in most areas, although they must not:

  1. Be self-employed;
  2. Participate in business activities;
  3. Filling a permanent full-time position;
  4. Work as a paid or unpaid professional athlete or sports coach, as defined by the Home Office on pages 102-103 of the Student route guidance;
  5. Have a paid or unpaid job as an entertainer;
  6. Unless you are on the foundation program, work as a doctor or dentist while training.

These limitations apply for the duration of your student visa.

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Self-employment is not permitted on a graduate route in 2022. This means that before you start working, you should receive a formal document from your employer, such as a ‘contract of employment,’ a ‘worker’s agreement,’ or another written statement verifying your employment status. This includes any work you’ll be doing for one or more of the Colleges or universities. Please keep in mind that some students (those who are not on a student visa) may not require the same documentation. Activities such as freelance writing or publishing, private teaching, or selling goods or services directly to a consumer, such as a consultant, are examples of self-employment.

If you are not on the employer’s or agency’s payroll, the employment you are being offered is most likely self-employed. It’s important to double-check your job status before commencing work if you’re unclear.


Engaging in Business Activity

You are not permitted to conduct business while on your graduate route. Working for a company with a financial or other significant beneficial interest in a role other than an employee is considered a business activity. Setting up a business that is trading or has a trading presence; being employed by a company in which you own 10% or more of the stock; or working for a company in which you hold a statutory role, such as a director, are all examples of situations in which you would be considered to be engaging in business activity, according to the Home Office. However, this isn’t an extensive list. If you’re not sure if this restriction applies to you, you should contact the International Student Office for clarification before engaging in the activity.


Undertaking An Internship / Work Placement

If you have a student visa, you can do an internship during the official University vacation periods; undergraduate students can participate in an internship. The employer will require evidence of the academic calendar to confirm the vacation dates when you are entitled to work full-time. A printout of the academic calendar from the University’s website would be acceptable proof. Medical students must complete internship programs as part of their education, and the International Student Office notifies the Home Office of these assignments at the start of the academic year.

During the official vacation periods, Master’s students can do an internship. Because these dates vary by course, you should check with your faculty and department for further information on the official vacation periods. A small number of Master’s programs involve a brief internship as part of the curriculum. This information will be included in the course manual related to your course. This is permissible on a student visa as an integral element of the course. Still, the International Student Office will need to give the internship details to the Home Office in advance, so keep your Faculty or Department informed of any changes.



For postgraduate research students, the academic year is continuous throughout the year. This means that you can only do an internship on a student visa if it contributes to your Ph.D. research and is approved through the leave to work away process. While vacations are allowed at times agreed upon with your supervisor, these periods are not used for full-time employment. Suppose you want to intern to do an internship. In that case, the University will not sponsor your visa during that period, and the internship will not be possible on your student visa.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I Have To Be Studying A Specific Course To Be Eligible?

Students who have earned an undergraduate degree or higher (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. at Birkbeck) can apply.

Will I Have To Leave The Uk To Apply?

No, you must apply from the United Kingdom while possessing a valid Student (or Tier 4) visa.

Can I Apply For The Graduate Route More Than Once?

No, students will be able to apply for this path just once in their lives. Students must either switch to a new immigration category, such as the Graduate route or leave the UK after their Graduate route visa time expires.

Will Ph.D. Students Who Were Previously Granted The Doctorate Extension Scheme Be Eligible?

No, an applicant who has previously been given authorization under the Doctoral Extension Scheme is ineligible under the Graduate route visa 2022 validity conditions.

How Much Does It Cost To Apply?

The visa application fee is £700 per person for the Graduate route, plus the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The IHS costs £624 per person each year, which must be paid in full at the time of application.

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