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 Start-Up 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
- Graduate route 'Post-Study Work visa'
Tier 1 Start-Up 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 apply for a Tier 1 Start-up visa.
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 we are one of the endorsing institutions for this visa, you need to be a student or graduate of the University of Portsmouth and you need to be part of our Route to Startup or Social Startup development programmes. You also need to provide evidence that you meet the maintenance fund requirements.
Tier 2 General Work visa
You can apply for this visa if you're from outside 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.
- 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 the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme visa. This gives 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 our Department of Student and Academic Administration at email@example.com.
Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa
You can apply for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa if you're a citizen of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea or Taiwan. This visa is also open to British citizens overseas 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 visa
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.
Graduate Route 'Post-Study Work visa'
The UK government announced in September 2019 that there will be a new 2 year graduate visa route from the summer of 2021. It will be similar to the previous Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) visa which ended in April 2012.
International students on a Tier 4 visa who will complete their degree-level course in or after the summer of 2021 will be eligible to apply. An exact start date for the new visa has not yet been given.
Further details can be found on the UKVI website.