Post-study work visas

If you want to work in the UK after you graduate, it's important you research your options and check the regulations of the different types of visa.

Your main options are:

  • Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa
  • Tier 2 (General) Work visa
  • Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme visa
  • Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange) visa

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

If you're currently on a Tier 4 Student visa and you have a viable, genuine and credible business idea that you want to put into practice in the UK, you could go for this option.

You need to currently hold a Tier 4 Visa and be from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), and you need to begin the application process at least 3 months before your Tier 4 visa expires.

As the University of Portsmouth is one of the endorsing institutions for this visa, you to be a student or graduate of Portsmouth and you need to be part of our Route to Startup or Social Startup development programmes. You also need to provide evidence you meet the maintenance fund requirements.

Find out more by emailing nest@port.ac.uk or check the UK Visas and Immigration website.

Tier 2 (General) Work visa

You can apply for this visa if you're from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and you've been offered a skilled job in the UK. You need to meet a few different requirements to qualify. You must:

  • Have completed your Bachelor's or Master's degree course fully, with no exams or coursework outstanding – if you're doing a PhD, you must have completed a minimum of 12 months' study in the UK towards it
  • Show that you have £945 or more in your bank account for 90 days at the time of the application
  • Have a job offer with an employer listed on the UK Visas and Immigration list of Tier 2 sponsors
  • Have a salary of at least £20,800 (this varies depending on the field)

Tier 4 (Doctorate Extension Scheme) visa

If you've almost finished your PhD, you can apply for this scheme to give you an additional 12 months of Tier 4 (General) leave in which to look for and start work in the UK. If you want to do this, you need to declare your interest by emailing Academic Registry at ukvi-student-compliance@port.ac.uk.

Find out more in the Tier 4 policy guidance here or contact the International Student Advice team at international.student.adviser@port.ac.uk.

Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa

You can apply for this specific visa if you're a citizen of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea or Taiwan. This is also open to British Overseas citizens and British Nationals Overseas.

You need to be aged 18–30 and have £1,890 in savings. You also need to meet other eligibility requirements.

If you're from Hong Kong or the Republic of Korea, you must get a certificate of sponsorship reference number before you apply. This holds information about the job you do and your personal details. It’s not a certificate or paper document.

If you're from Taiwan, you need to register your interest with the National Youth Commission.

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange)

If you want to undertake a period of professional training or work experience, you can apply for this scheme. Your initial leave is granted for 12 months, but you can extend this to 24 months. However, you're not allowed to take a permanent job.

You must show that you have £945 or more in your bank account for 90 days at the time of the application and you need a certificate of sponsorship reference number from a UK sponsor.

Further information and advice

Speak with our Careers and Employability Service or an International Student Adviser for further information and advice about these visas.