What is Post Study Work Visa?

Post Study Work Visa (PSW) is a Graduate Immigration Route type of UK visa that will allow international students who complete a degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK educational institute and who have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application to remain in the UK and work.

What is Graduate Immigration Route ?

From 1 July 2021, international students who have successfully completed an undergraduate or master’s degree will be able to benefit from two years’ work experience in the UK upon graduation, through the new Graduate Route. Students who complete their PhD will be able to stay for three years.

Here is everything you need to know:

  • The Graduate Route will be available to international students who have a valid student visa at the time of application and have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance.
  • Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for a maximum period of two years if they have successfully completed an undergraduate or master’s degree. PhD graduates will be able to stay for three years. Graduates will be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job.
  • The new route will be launched on 1 July 2021, meaning that any eligible student who graduates after this date will be able to apply for the route. This includes students who have already started their courses.
  • The Graduate Route will require a new visa application, which will only be possible from inside the UK.
  • It will include the payment of a visa fee of £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge at the full rate of £624 per year.
  • Students will also need to know the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) they used for their most recent Student (or Tier 4) application in order to apply for the Graduate Route.

If you began your studies in the 2020-21 academic year, you will be able to benefit from this new route, even if you began your degree online in your home country due to Covid-19.

If you are due to complete your course in summer 2021 but have been unable to travel to the UK just yet, you will be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route, as long as you arrive in the UK before 21 June 2021 (this has been updated from the previous 6 April date).

If you started a one-year master’s course in January 2021, you will need to arrive in the UK by 27 September 2021 in order to be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route.

Key points of PSW visa

  • Interested students will need to make a separate application for this and pay application fees & Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fees.
  • This visa will allow students to work full time in most type of jobs, they will also be able to undertake self-employment professions.
  • There will be no requirement to secure any sort of sponsorship for those looking to apply for Post Study Work Visa.
  • The scheme will apply retrospectively even to those students who started their course prior to the scheme coming into effect, as long as the student is graduating in Summer 2021 or later.
  • It will not be possible to extend the Post Study Work visa: students will be expected to switch to a different immigration category including student route, or leave the UK.
  • Students will be able to apply for PSW visa only once i.e. they won’t be able to switch to Student visa from PSW visa, complete another degree and apply for PSW a second time.
  • Same policy will apply to students’ dependents and they will enjoy the same rights.

Benefits to international students of Post Study Work Visa

Rights of working full time and earn Return on Investment

The PSW work visa will allow eligible students to work, or look for work, at any skill level, for a period of two/three years after completion of their courses. They will be able to earn money and get the Return on Investment in higher education.

Opportunity to practice academic learning at workplace

The visa period will open a new window for students for applying their academic learning into practice at workplace, an opportunity to convert theoretical learning into practical tasks.

Opportunity to gain transferable skills

As graduates will have the opportunity to work with their chosen industries or sectors; they will gain transferable skills including analytical, effective communication, persuasive, teamwork, leadership, decision-making, organisation and planning, self-awareness and other soft-skills necessary to succeed.

Opportunity for networking with professionals

During the work period, forward-looking graduates may use the platform to network and connect with professionals from their chosen industries and expand their opportunity fields for future benefits.

Potential opportunity for Tier 2 work visa by employers

When working at company during the PSW visa, the employer company may offer Tier 2 Skilled visa if they of sponsoring right. Even graduates will be open to seek Tier 2 visa or other skilled job visa at other companies in the UK.

Flexibility to switch to student visa again or other types

At the end of PSW visa, graduates will be able to switch back to student visa or they will have the chance to switch to other visa types if they fulfil the eligibility criteria from inside the UK.

Great take-away to home country

UK degree and work experience will be great take-away for students who will return to home country where potential employers will be benefitted from graduates’ world-class knowledge and skills to leverage competitive advantage for them and for the country.

Post Study Work (PSW) work visa under the Graduate Immigration route will open may avenues for international students to the UK, a top higher education destination and lucrative commercial hub of the world. The scheme will benefit not only the students and their home countries, it will give many advantages to the UK employment sectors too. The UK Government warmly welcomes international students to grab the opportunity of this Graduate route.

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