K M Enayet Hossain
10 February, 2021

3.3 min read


UK Post Study Work (PSW) visa benefits to international students

Graduate visa is an UK Immigration route that allows international students to get 2/3 years Post Study Work (PSW) visa after their graduation.

Graduate 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.


Key points of Graduate 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.


Who will be eligible to apply for Graduate PSW Visa

International Students who will complete a bachelor degree, a master degree or a PhD Degree from a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance on or after 06/April/2021 be eligible to apply for the PSW visa.


Length of Graduate PSW visa

International students completing a bachelor degree or a master degree will be granted 2 years PSW visa. International students completing a PhD or PhD  Level degree will be granted 3 years PSW visa.


COVID-19 Concession for PSW

If students are required to either continue their current studies or commence a new course by distance or blended learning due to Covid-19, they will still be eligible to switch into the Post Study Work visa on a concessionary basis if they spent some time studying outside the UK.

Students who commenced a one-year Masters programme in September 2020, will benefit from this concession if they enter the UK on or before 6 April 2021 and complete the final semester of their studies in the UK.

Students who commenced a one-year Masters programme in January 2021 will benefit from this concession if they enter the UK before 27 September 2021 and complete the final semester of their studies In the UK.

Students  who are studying courses that last longer than a year and that are not due to be completed in 2021 will still be eligible for the post-study work visa, even if they have studied all or part of the 2020-21 academic year via distance learning because of the pandemic under the concession.


11 Benefits to international students of Graduate Post Study Work Visa


1. Gift of long study holiday

The PSW visa period will be long break from academic study – no study, no class attendance, no examination for students.


2. 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.


3. 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.


4. Chance to start your own business in the UK

PSW visa will allow students to become self-employed; they will be open to start their own business in the UK and gain entrepreneurial skills.


5. Opportunity to gain work experience

PSW visa route will allow students to work full time at any level of job at any company in the UK, a big chance to gain work skills from companies operating in the UK. This could be a Key Selling Point on their professional profile to get access to UK job market and convert to other skilled visa.


6. 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 in career.


7. Golden chance to connect with employers

Career-minded and ambitious students can use the chance to connect with potential employers as per their career target and eligible contender may see them at top profession at international companies.  


8. 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.


9. 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.


10. 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.


11. 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.


Graduate Post Study Work (PSW) 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.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q What are the eligibility criteria for UK Graduate Visa application?

A You can apply for a Graduate visa if all of the following are true:

  • You are in the UK at the time of application
  • Your current visa is a Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa. You cannot switch to this route with any other visa type.
  • You studied and successfully completed a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or other eligible course with your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
  • You have been studying at a UK higher education provider with a track record of compliance
  • Your education provider (such as your university or college) has told the Home Office you’ve successfully completed your course

If your partner, spouse and children joined you in the UK as ‘dependants’ on your current Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa, they can apply to stay as dependants as on your Graduate visa.

If your child was born in the UK during your current Student or Tier 4 (General) student visa, they can also apply.

If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours.

Q How to apply for Graduate Visa?

A You must apply online for Graduate visa, Please find the online application links below

- apply online as main applicant

- apply online as your partner

- apply online as your child

Q Can I work whilst my Graduate Route visa application decision is pending?

A The UKVI recently changed its rules so that any student who submitted an application on or after 6 April 2022 will be eligible to begin work under the above conditions while their application is being processed i.e. before they receive a decision.You can begin working on a full-time permanent contract even while you are waiting for the visa to be granted.After your Graduate visa is granted, you can work in line with the full conditions of your Graduate visa (including self-employment).

Q Is Graduate Visa a sponsored visa? Will I need a sponsor to apply under this route?

A Graduate Visa is an unsponsored route to allow you to work or look for work in the UK. You do not need your education provider or any employer to sponsor you.

Are you looking to study abroad?

Touch your dream with University Admission Expert

  • Offering 15,000+ courses at 100+ study locations
  • Maintaining 99% visa success rate
  • Serving with 14+ years accumulative admission experience
  • Providing end-to-end services, almost 24/7
Check your admission eligibility now

Newsletter Subscription

Keep up to date with the latest news on UK student visa, courses, universities, scholarships, start dates, study guides etc.

Post Comment

Login to post comment
No comment found in this fourm