Want to Remain in the UK After Your Degree?
Our dedicated team of experienced and empathetic immigration lawyers has a proven track record of supporting clients from Nigeria. From helping them build a strong application to providing them with key advice once they land in their destination country, we are experts when it comes to helping Nigerians find success in their move abroad.
Post Study Work Visa UK Eligibility: Who Can Apply?
There are strict guidelines in place regarding who can apply for a Post Study Work Visa UK. This is in order to protect ‘genuine’ students who have successfully completed their course from being denied the opportunity to stay in the UK.
The Post Study Work Visa is officially known as the Graduate Route. In order to apply for the Graduate Route, applicants must have:
- A valid UK student visa (Tier 4 or General)
- Proof that they have studied a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctorate or any other eligible qualification for a minimum of the last 12 months using their current valid student visa
- Recognition from your education provider that the Home Office has been notified of the successful completion of your course
In order to apply for a UK Post Study Work Visa, you must receive your official course results. If your current student visa expires before you receive your results, you will not be able to switch to the Graduate Route.
When applying for a UK Post Study Work Visa, you will need to pay two fees: one to cover the cost of the application and another to cover the healthcare surcharge all visa holders must pay before coming to the UK.
The application fee stands at £715, and you will only need to pay it once to cover the cost of applying.
The healthcare surcharge is usually £624 for each year the applicant stays in the UK with their visa.
For example, if your Post Study Work Visa allows you two years in the UK after you have graduated, you can expect to pay the application fee and two years of healthcare surcharges, which comes to £1963.
If, during your extended stay in the UK, you get a job in the healthcare sector as a medical professional or other relevant role, you may be entitled to a refund on your healthcare surcharge payments. You will need to submit an application for this upon getting the job.
Many UK immigration routes require applicants to submit financial evidence to prove that they can afford to support their stay in the UK.
However, because those applying for a Post Study Work Visa have already submitted their financial information to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) when they applied for their student visa, they do not need to provide further income evidence when applying for the Graduate Route.
Applicants should be aware that they will need to be able to continue to support themselves during their stay in the UK as those accepted onto the Graduate Route cannot apply for most UK Government benefits.
Cost of Gathering Documents
When you apply for the Graduate Route Visa, you will need to submit several documents that act as evidence of your eligibility. These include:
- A valid passport or relevant travel document that displays your identity and nationality. If you need to renew these documents you will have to pay for their renewal prior to your application. Renewal fees vary depending on the document required.
- A biometric residence permit (BRP) if you were given one when you applied for your student visa. This will not cost you anything to collect or submit.
- Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number which was assigned to you when you applied for your student visa. This will also not cost you anything to collect or submit.
If you cannot immediately access your CAS number you will be able to retrieve it from your education provider.
You may also need to provide proof of your relationship if your partner or children are applying to move to the UK with you as a dependent, and, if applicable, a letter to prove that your scholarship/sponsorship has been approved and that your course fees or living costs have been covered during the last 12 months. These should not cost you anything to collect or submit.
While the Student Visa is eligible for a premium processing package, meaning that the processing time can be shortened to within 5 working days upon application, the Post Study Work Visa is not eligible for this service.
This means that it is extremely important that applications are submitted in good time. Processing for the Graduate Route usually takes the standard 8 weeks, so it is crucial that travel plans are made in coordination with this processing period in order to avoid disappointment.
Applicants do not have to pay an additional fee for standard processing.
Other Visa Options For After Your Studies
If you want to remain in the UK after your Post Study Work Visa has expired, you will need to apply for an alternative visa in order to stay lawfully.
The kind of visa you may want to apply for depends on your particular personal circumstances, but there is a wide range of routes available via the UKVI. The Skilled Worker Visa is currently the most popular route for those looking to stay in the UK.
Skilled Worker Visa
Qualified individuals can apply for or switch to a Skilled Worker Visa in order to stay in the UK for work with an approved sponsor. UK employers are often looking for talent from overseas to work via this visa route. It can lead to long-term provision for applicants and their families alongside the possibility of settlement.
Applicants must attain 70 eligibility points by meeting specific salary, English language and skill requirements. A total of 50 points can be achieved through mandatory requirements such as:
- A job offer (at a skill level of RQF3 or above) from a licenced UK sponsor
- Speaking the English Language to a high standard
Applicants can gain additional points by having a salary of over £23,040 per annum, a PhD qualification, or by obtaining a job in a shortage occupation.
In order to apply, evidence must be provided that a total of at least £1270 is in the applicant’s bank account and has been available for 28 consecutive days. The application fee varies between £610 and £1408 depending on personal circumstances and whether the job the applicant is sponsored for is on the shortage occupation list. The health surcharge of £624 per year must also be paid as standard for this visa.
How can IAS Help?
We understand that applying for a UK visa can be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers is on hand to help you every step of the way.
We are sympathetic immigration experts with all the tools you need to find support from the beginning stages of your application, right through to advising you once you’ve arrived in the UK.
Last modified on October 25th, 2023 at 9:03 am
Need help with an immigration issue? Book a one-to-one advice session with one of our legal caseworkers.
We can complete your visa application on your behalf, taking the stress and hassle out of the process.
Fast Track Package
Need to submit an application quickly? We can help you complete and send it off in as little as 24 hours.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal with our legal support and guidance.
The Advice Package
With our Advice Package, you can book a one-to-one session with one of our legal team and receive bespoke advice tailored for your situation. We will review your case and give you expert advice on how best to proceed with your immigration matter. Reach out to a member of our team and book your session today.
The Application Package
Our Application Package is designed to help relieve the stress of immigration applications. One of our legal caseworkers will help you throughout the entire process, including establishing your eligibility for your chosen route, completing your application form to the highest standards and organising your documents. We will then submit it and monitor its status on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our premium Fast Track Package is ideal if you need to submit an application quickly, such as if you need to meet a tight deadline. Our lawyers will work closely with you to see that your application is completed to the highest standards and ensure you get your application in on time, helping to take the stress and pressure off you.
The Appeal Package
Visa appeals can be a stressful process, especially if you’re relying on a specific visa to be approved. Our legal team can help you navigate the whole process and maximise your chances of a successful appeal, working alongside you to reach a favourable result. We can also represent you in immigration-related hearings and tribunals.