Working after your studies
Once you've completed your studies, you have the option to apply for a job in the UK. There are different visa routes under the Points Based System available to you after you have completed your studies.
For you to qualify under most of these routes:
You must have successfully completed your course ( UK Bachelor degree or higher).
On some of these visa routes, you can switch in the UK but you must apply before your current Tier 4 visa expires.
If you are sponsored by a government or international scholarship you must seek permission/consent from your sponsors. ( this must be provided in writing ).
Under some of these visa routes you can bring your dependants with you.
It is important you read and research the information available to you.
The available visa routes for international students are:
Tier 1 Graduate entrepreneur scheme
This for graduates with a genuine business idea.
You must be endorsed by a university on this scheme or a UK Trade and Investment. Please note: Royal Holloway does not endorse students on this scheme. You can ask other universities to endorse you on this scheme. (List of universities on this scheme are available on the UKVI website):
The maximum duration of this visa is 12 months. It might be possible to extend this to a further 12 months.
You need to have a minimum BSc, BA degree or equivalent and also other requirements including maintenance.
You can also bring your dependant.
Additional information is available on the UKCISA website.
Tier 2 General
You need to have a minimum BSc, BA degree or higher.
This is an immigration route to work in the UK. To qualify, an employer needs to have offered you a graduate level job. (They are called Tier 2 licensed sponsors). Your salary can start from a minimum of £20,800.
The employers need to have a Tier 2 licence.
They can offer you a job for a maximum of five years. After five years of being in the UK under Tier 2 (with a minimum salary of £35,800) you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
You can switch to this visa in the UK as long as your tier 4 visa is still valid. This also gives you some exemptions such as the resident labour market test (RLMT).
A licensed Tier 2 sponsor needs to issue a COS (Confirmation of Sponsorship).
The job needs to meet various requirements including maintenance.
You can bring your dependants with you on this visa.
For more information about Tier 2 please contact the International Student Support Office.
Doctorate extension scheme (DES) for PhD students only
For students who are about to complete their PhD and want to remain in the UK for a further 12 months
You can work any full time job
The College can sponsor you for DES
You cannot apply for DES outside the UK
The College will issue a CAS when your award date has been confirmed. Your current visa must still be valid and you must submit your DES 60 days prior to receiving your award date.
You can switch to a Tier 2 visa ( as long as your visa has not expired).
Detailed information is available on our website.
The purpose of the Tier 5 is for people coming to the UK through approved schemes that aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice, and to experience the UK's social and cultural life.
There are two types of Tier 5 routes
Tier 5 (youth mobility scheme): You can work in the UK for up to two years. This scheme is available to nationals of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Taiwan, and to British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens and British Nationals (Overseas). You cannot switch from Tier 4 Student category to this scheme whilst you are in the UK. For more information please contact the International Student Support Office.
Tier 5 (temporary worker) :
You can apply for a Tier 5 temporary worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa if you:
want to come to the UK for a short time for work experience or to do training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme.
Have a sponsor from outside the European Economica area and Switzerland.
Useful links and resources
UKCISA: Information and advice about working after studies. It is a good idea to register with them to get the latest immigration updates which could be applicable to you.)
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) different work visas routes
UKVI Tier 2 Information on Tier 2
Tier 2 policy guidance
A list of Tier 2 and tier 5 registered of sponsors – employers
Tier 2 Shortage Occupational jobs: in Appendix K of the Immigration Rules
Immigration rules on Codes of Practice for skilled work
Guidance on codes of practice
Contact the Tier 5 sponsor to ask for full details and find out how to apply
Information on Government Authorised scheme
Details of Government Authorised Schemes
Information of overarching bodies are available on the Immigration Rules Appendix N: authorised exchange schemes
Gain a post study work experience via Tier GAE visa
You can find information about all Tier 1 schemes
Want to find out more about working in the UK? Want to improve your skills and employability for when you return home? The Careers & Employability Service provides a range of services to help you, including:
- Discuss your career aspirations or issues
- Get your CV or application checked
- Events to improve your skills and help you learn about your job options