How to apply for a Post-Study Work (PSW) visa in the UK?
Receiving an opportunity to work in the UK helps graduates to enhance their skills and capabilities and adds value to their work experience in their respective fields or areas. If you wish to stay in the UK and work there after your graduation, you are (Entitled) to have that (Post-Study Work) visa benefit and are required to apply separate visa to your student visa which allows graduates to stay and work within the country for upto two years validation period of time.
The PSW scheme will come into effect from the 1st of July 2021 for International students who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree or master’s degree will be able to benefit from two years work experience in the UK upon graduation, through the new ‘Graduate Route’. Students who completed their PhD/Doctorate degree will be able to stay a minimum of three years long. The post-study work visa allows students to work or look for work after graduation which provides an opportunity for international students to boost their career. It does not restrict the type of work or a working hour limit and the visa requirements to apply for a post-study work visa are pretty much the same as a general student visa. You can apply for this visa after the successful completion of your postgraduate level or above from a licensed sponsor, which is the university you graduated from.
The basic requirements to apply for postgraduate courses are: your personal details and qualifications, a referee (tutor/lecturer) who can confirm your ability to do the course and a personal statement explaining why you want to take this course. You must also be able to support yourself by showing proof of sufficient funds as specified by the government at the time. English language ability requirements must also be met which is an IELTS score of at least 6.5 on each of the four skills. Students will also need to know the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) they used for their most recent Student (or Tier 4) application in order to apply for the Graduate Route.
If you begin your studies in the 2020-21 academic year, you will be able to benefit from this new route, even if you begin your degree online in your home country due to Covid-19 pandemic. The Graduate Route will require a new visa application, which will only be possible from inside of the UK. It will include the payment of a visa fee of £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) at the full rate of £624 per year.
However, courses in the UK universities or colleges each have their own different entry requirements and criteria to meet so make sure to check their website for accurate information. Also, the visa rules keep changing and individual circumstances also matter so keep yourself updated frequently as much as possible to visa announcements and its recent changes by following the official websites.
Be sure to apply for the post-graduate work visa within the 12 months of course completion so that you meet the eligibility requirements and for your postgraduate degree you will have to study a full duration course. If you wish to stay for a longer period after your PSW visa expires and at the meantime if you are able to find skilled job sponsorship then you can apply for a General Work Visa (Tier 2) which may open /allow you to change your recent Tier 4 General Student Visa into Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) visa category in terms of the UK visa immigration rules and systems or so on in the future. Also it has its own requirements and criterias to fulfill. Thus, a post-study work visa is a great career route for students to gain work experience and build successful life and career ahead.