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Post Study Work Options

You may be wondering now what options may be available to you to live and work in the UK after your studies. Please see below for further information, including about the new Graduate Visa. Please remember though that while you are studying in the UK, you must abide by the work restrictions of the visa you are studying wth. Please visit our website for further details. The information below is related to what you can do after you have finished your studies in the UK. 

Graduate Immigration Route (Post Study Work Visa)

The Graduate Immigration Route (also known as a post study work visa) was introduced on 1 July 2021. Please see below for a summary of the key points of this visa, which you may be eligible for after successfully completing your degree at Brunel University. 

Further information about the rules for applying for the Graduate Visa can be found at the UKVI website. The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) also has useful guidance at their website. 

  • International students who complete their course in or after the summer of 2021 will be eligible to apply;

  • Students who started a one year master's degree course in September 2020 and have only studied overseas, must have entered the UK by 27 September 2021 (or before the visa expires if this is sooner); 

  • It has also been confirmed that students starting a one year master's degree in January 2021 must have entered the UK by 27 September 2021 to qualify;

  • Students who start a degree course in the Autumn of 2021 or Spring 2022 need to enter the UK by 30 June 2022 to qualify;

  • Students who entered the UK for their study before having to leave due to Covid-19 will qualify, but must re-enter the UK before their visa expires;

  • It will be open to students who complete a course at undergraduate, postgraduate or research level, who have a valid Tier 4/Student visa at the point of application (which must have been issued for the completed course). The Tier 4/Student visa needs to have been issued at least 12 months before the application;

  • The student must have a valid Tier 4/Student visa at the point of application and must be in the UK. It will not be possible to 'switch' from a non-Tier 4/Student visa to the Graduate visa; 

  • Unfortunately, the Graduate route will not be open to students who will complete their studies before the summer of 2021, or who do not hold a valid Tier 4/Student visa;

  • The visa will be two years long and will allow a graduate to work, or look for work, in any sector and at any level in the UK. The visa will be three years long for research graduates i.e. PhD; 

  • The visa will not be extendable and will not lead to settlement in the UK. However, it will be possible to switch into a skilled work route if the standard requirements are met; 

  • The visa application will cost £700.

Skilled Worker Visa

Another type of visa that would allow you to work full-time after your studies is the Skilled Worker visa. Unlike the Graduate Visa, this visa has to be sponsored by a licensed employer (in a similar way to how Brunel sponsors a Student visa to study). The rules around this are more rigid and you should check with your potential employer if they can sponsor you for a Skilled Work Visa. Please visit the UKVI website for further details of the requirements for this visa. 

Please note that if you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student, as of July 2023, you can only switch from a Student to a Skilled Worker visa upon completion of your degree course.  If you are a research student, you can only apply to switch if you have completed at least two years of your PhD programme. These dates will be calculated by your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

Health and Care Worker Visa

If you find employment in the UK healthcare sector after finishing your studies, you may be eligible for a Health and Care Worker Visa. This is similar to the Skilled Worker Visa above, but is specific to certain healthcare roles such as doctors, nurses and other health and social care professionals. The visa also has to be sponsored by a licensed employer. 

Further information about the benefits of the Health and Care Worker Visa and rules for applying can be found at the UKVI website.