Post study work visa advice

Post study work visa advice

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Graduate Immigration RouteSkilled Worker RouteOther Routes


Graduate Immigration Route

This Graduate route visa (also referred to as Post Study Work visa) allows graduates of eligible courses to stay and work in the UK after completing studies. You can find the application and guidance on the UK Government website

Your application does not need sponsorship or any endorsement by an employer or by Sheffield Hallam. The key requirement when you apply is that you have a UK degree that you received during your current period of Tier 4 visa or Student visa. You can only apply in the UK, and the visa is granted for two years (for undergraduate or postgraduates) or three years (for PhD graduates). Please note that Masters fall back awards of PgD and PgC are not eligible for Graduate route applications.

Once you have received your final results from the awarding board (and can see the final transcript on My Student Record), the University will inform the UKVI of your successful completion. You will receive an email confirming this within 10 working days of the ratification board. The notification email will be sent to both your Sheffield Hallam and personal email addresses. Once you have received this you can apply for the Graduate route visa. Please be aware that provisional results (feedback on Blackboard) do not meet the eligibility criteria for the Graduate route visa.

You must not submit your application until you have received confirmation from the University that your course completion has been reported to the Home Office. 

The Graduate route allows any work with any employer and self-employment, except work as a professional sportsperson or coach. This route does not count towards the 5-year settlement route, however it does allow switching to other work routes - including access to tradeable points for new entrant in Skilled Worker route. Read further information about the conditions of stay.

Only dependants that are already in the UK as your Tier 4 or Student dependant (partner and/or child under 18) can apply as a dependant under the Graduate route. This means that if your dependants are outside the UK, and you wish for them to receive the Graduate route leave alongside you, they must join you under the Student route first.

Book a place on one of our Graduate Work Visa sessions to learn more and ask any questions you might have. Please make sure you read the Graduate Route guidance on the UKCISA website before attending a workshop with the International Experience Team.


Skilled Worker

In order to apply under the Skilled Worker route, you need sponsorship by a licensed employer to do a specific job that meets minimum levels of skill and salary.

UKCISA has guidance for the Skilled Worker route specifically tailored to those who have studied in the UK with a Tier 4 or Student route visa, and who now wish to apply under the Skilled Worker route either in the UK or in their home country. You can only switch to Skilled Worker visa after the date of course completion as per your last CAS.

There are specialist routes within the Skilled Worker route, including Health and Care Worker visa, that have reduced application costs and fast track processing if you have a sponsorship for one of the eligible jobs.

If you apply in the UK under the Skilled Worker route, you can typically start work as soon as you have applied.

The Skilled Worker visa is specific to the job role and employer, therefore if you change either you will need to make a new application. The route allows dependants to join you from home or switch your visa in the UK.

Skilled worker route counts towards the 5-year settlement route.

The International Experience Advisers, who specialise in student immigration applications, are unable to offer one-to-one advice on applications but we can help explain the rules. If you are instructing a solicitor for one-to-one support, make sure they are a member of ILPA (Immigration Law Practitioners Association).

Please note that it is against the law in the UK to pay someone to find them a job. Genuine agencies get paid by the employer, not the employee/potential employee. Job agencies and websites should not ask you to pay for help in applying for or getting work. The UK Government has guidance on what you can expect from an employer when you look for a job. Take note of your rights and safety when looking for a job. Do not take a job if you have doubts about the employer and how they will treat you.


Other Routes

There are several routes into working in the UK. Graduate route, Skilled Worker route and Health and Social Care Worker routes are most popular with students.

You can find all the options listed on the UK Government website under Work Visas, and the UKCISA website under Working After Studies. These include some routes that do not require a sponsorship or those for working for an overseas employer. There are some Temporary Work options that may be of interest to you. Also, you can look out for information on British National Overseas, UK Ancestry and Family routes if you are eligible.

The International Experience Team offers guidance on the choices available to international graduates wishing to work in the UK after studies, and support with visa applications. However, we are unable to offer case advice for non-study related routes. If you are instructing a solicitor for help, make sure they are a member of ILPA (Immigration Law Practitioners Association).


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