If you are considering remaining in the UK to work after you have completed your studies, there are a number of visa options that may be available to you. Please see the table below for a summary of the main options. Further information can be found by clicking on each visa type.
Information about work restrictions on a Tier 4 visa is outlined in 'Working and Studying'.
Visa requirements are subject to change. Before applying for any UK visa, you must ensure you read the relevant Policy Guidance in order to understand the full details and requirements at the time of application.
|Visa Type||Overview||Is sponsorship required?||Maximum duration||Can I switch from Tier 4 inside the UK?||What do I need to qualify?||Can I bring dependants?|
|Tier 4 Doctorate||For students who have nearly completed their PhD and want to remain in the UK for a further 12 months to work, look for work or set up a business||Yes, from the University||12 months from your expected course completion date||Yes (applicants cannot apply from outside the UK)||A CAS issued by the University. Applicants must submit a visa application at the point of holding a valid Tier 4 visa and in the 60 days prior to receiving final approval for their degree||Yes|
|Tier 2 (General)||This is the main immigration route to work in the UK. The visa is linked to a specific job and employer||Yes, from the Tier 2 licensed employer||5 years||Yes (and there are benefits in doing so)||Sponsorship is in the form of a COS from a Tier 2 licensed employer. The job needs to meet various requirements including a minimum salary||Yes|
|Tier 1 Graduate||A scheme for graduates with a genuine and credible business idea||No but there must be an endorsement from the University or UK Trade and Investment||12 months with the possibility of renewal for a further 12 months||Yes||
Endorsement by the University; a minimum BA degree or equivalent; meet various other
requirements including maintenance
|Tier 5 Youth||For individuals of certain nationalities including Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand aged between 18-30.||Yes but only for certain countries||24 months||No||A certificate of sponsorship is required for nationals of Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan. Other requirements include maintenance||No|
|UK Ancestry||For individuals who are a commonwealth citizen, are planning to work and have a grandparent who was born in the UK||No||5 years||No||Must be able to prove that one grandparent was born in the UK||Yes|
|Tier 5 GAE||For individuals wanting to come to the UK for work experience, training, research or a fellowship||Yes||12-24 months depending on the type of scheme||No||A COS from a Tier 5 sponsor or overarching body is required||Yes|
There are a number of other visa routes in the UK and eligibility will depend on your personal circumstances.
For further details on all of the different visa options and the latest updates, please see the UKVI website