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Top 4 UK Post-study Work Visa for Indian Students

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The UK government has announced the relaunch of post study work visa on 11 Sept 2019. Students who enrol to study for undergraduate level and above will be benefiting from this post study work visa. The visa will allow international students to live, look for a job or work in the UK for two years after their studies.

The implementation date of this post study work visa is not confirmed yet. But according to the statement made by the UK Home Office head of Student Migration Policy, students who graduate from the summer of 2021 onwards will benefit from this change. While the period of the post study work visa is not implemented yet, the current immigration rule still applies.

Currently, if you want to work in the UK after your studies, you must apply for a work visa. A four to six months of post study stay period will be given to international students depending on the course level or the duration you were taken. But this post-study stay period only allows you to use this extra time to live and look for a job in the UK, and it does not let you take any full-time jobs.

Here are the current best suitable four types of post-study work visa options for Indian students.

UK Post-study Work Visa Options for Indian Students

Type of VisaKey RestrictionMaximum StayingSponsorship NeededDependents Allowed
Tier 2 (General) visaMinimum salary of £30,000 per year 5 years and 14 daysYesYes
Tier 4 Doctorate Extension SchemeA Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issue by your university1 yearYesYes
Tier 5 Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visaAuthorised exchange schemes1-2 years depends on different schemesYesYes
Start-up VisaEndorsement letter from an authorised body2 yearsNoYes

1. Tier 2 (General) visa

This visa route is the most common and the main work visa for international students to remain and work in the UK after their degrees.

The objective of Tier 2 (General) visa is to fill the shortage of the UK labour market. Therefore, applicants must meet a minimum salary of £30,000* per year or the ‘appropriate rate’. Their employer must be a licensed Tier 2 sponsor to sponsor the work visa.

* A graduate switching from a Tier 4 student visa to Tier 2 (General) visa can be considered as ‘new entrant’, depending on their occupations, the minimum salary can be £20,800.

Tier 2 (General) visa Requirements for Indian Students

Tier 2 (General) visa is a point based visa, applicants must achieve a minimum score of 70 points in order to make the visa application. The point attributes and requirements are:

CriteriaPointsDetailsRequirements for Indian Students
Certificate of Sponsorship30A valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licensed Employer A skilled job offer with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an employer
Minimum level salary20£20,800 or industry equivalentappropriate salary with minimum £20,800
English Language10Meet the English language requirements Fulfilled using your UK degree
Maintenance Funds10£945 for minimum of 90 consecutive days unless exempt Have proof of £945 in savings, held for a minimum of 90 consecutive days unless exempt

2. Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme

The Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme has been introduced to the public on 6 April 2013. It is designed to give Tier 4 students who completed their PhD at a UK university have more time to set up business as an entrepreneur, find work with a Tier 2 employer or gain work experience in their field.

This scheme provides PhD graduates with a visa to remain in the UK for up to 12 months after they graduate.

Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme requirements for Indian students

No.RequirementsDetails
1Tier 4 (General) student visaHold a valid Tier 4 (General) student visa for a PhD programme
260 days priorApply in the UK and within 60 days prior to your expected PhD award date
3Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)Have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which confirms that your university will provide sponsorship for this scheme

3. Tier 5 Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa

This visa is a very good visa route for international students to stay in the UK for work experience, internship, training or research after their studies. Depends on the scheme you apply for, and the visa duration is up to 12-24 months.

Internation students will need to have a sponsor under an approved government authorised exchange scheme to apply for this visa. And this visa must apply from outside the UK.

Tier 5 Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa requirements for Indian students

No.RequirementsDetails
1Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)Have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from a licensed sponsor which under an approved government authorised exchange scheme*
2Maintenance FundsHave proof of £945 in savings, held for a minimum of 90 consecutive days prior application

*List of approved government authorised exchange scheme can be found here.

4. Start-up visa

This visa route is an option for international graduates who wish to develop ideas or entrepreneurial skills by setting up an innovative, viable and scalable business in the UK.

The start-up visa will be the replacement of the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa from 5 July 2019. But if you didn’t get the endorsement before 5 April 2019 for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa, you will not be able to make the application. You can apply Start-up visa instead.

The Start-up visa will be granted for a maximum of 2 years. After 2 years, you may consider switching to the Innovator visa, which will allow you to extend your stay and continue developing your business in the UK.

Start-up visa requirements for Indian students

No.RequirementsDetails
1Endorsement LetterHave an endorsement letter from your UK universities or a business organisation* with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs
2English LanguageMeet the English language requirements (by using your UK degree)
3Maintenance FundsHave proof of £945 in savings, held for a minimum of 90 consecutive days prior application

*List of endorsing bodies can be found here.

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