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Post Study Visa

Post-Study Work Visa in the UK.

The Post-Study Work (PSW) visa, formally known as the Graduate Route, lets international students stay in the UK for a set period after completing their studies. The length of this period depends on your educational level—two years for undergraduate or Master’s degrees and three years for PhDs.

The PSW visa offers a simpler way for graduates to legally remain in the UK compared to other visa options. It also gives employers the chance to hire recent graduates without dealing with the complexities of employment sponsorship.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the specifics of the UK’s PSW visa and how you can apply for it.

What Does the UK PSW Visa Offer?

The PSW visa, also known as the Graduate Immigration Route, provides the following benefits:

  • Students who finish an undergraduate or Master’s degree at an approved institution can remain in the UK for two years to work or seek employment.
  • Those completing a PhD can stay for three years post-studies.

One of the perks is that you don’t need sponsorship from an educational institution or employer. Also, graduates switching to this visa are no longer classified as students by their educational institutions. However, PSW visa holders can’t work as professional athletes, and any extra studies must not be at an institution that sponsors Tier 4 General student visas.

Family members already in the UK can continue their stay when you switch to a PSW visa. But, new dependents, except for children born in the UK, can’t join you from abroad. This visa is non-renewable and doesn’t contribute to UK settlement status.

Eligibility Criteria.

To be eligible, students must score 70 points under the UK’s point-based immigration system. Points are based on successfully completing a qualified UK study program. This entails:

  • Having a valid student visa from a registered UK higher education provider with a solid compliance track record.
  • Completing a degree at undergraduate level or higher.
  • Staying in the UK throughout the study period, with some exceptions like participating in a study abroad program.
  • Passing required identity, security, and criminal background checks.
  • Paying the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge.

Additional requirements apply for those on scholarships from their home country’s government.

EU Nationals.

EU, EEA, or Swiss students already in the UK with valid EU settled or pre-settled status won’t need this visa. Others can apply for it to maintain legal UK status.

Qualifying Courses.

Eligible degrees include UK bachelor’s, postgraduate degrees, law conversion courses, medical foundation programs, and various professional courses. The degree must match the one listed on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), verified by your education provider.

Application Process.

Applications are online and should be made within the UK. You can apply as soon as your educational institution informs the Home Office about your program completion.

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Fees and Charges.

The application fee is £715, plus an Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year.

Future Visa Options.

After your PSW visa expires, you can explore other visa categories like the Skilled Worker visa or family-based visas, depending on your specific circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

The PSW visa allows foreign students to stay in the UK for two or three years after completing their studies, depending on their degree level.

The application fee is £715, plus the annual Immigration Health Surcharge.

Students completing an undergraduate, Master’s, or PhD degree from an approved UK institution are eligible.

Two years for undergraduate and Master’s graduates, and three years for PhD graduates. The PSW visa cannot be extended. After it expires, you’ll need to switch to a different visa category to remain lawfully in the UK.

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