Two year post study work visa: everything you need to know

Two year post study work visa

This article about the two-year post-study work visa was updated by the Great British Mag content team on 26 January 2021.  

After nearly a decade, the UK government has re-introduced its post-study work visa. Called The Graduate Route, this is available to international students after they graduate from a UK university, from 2021 onwards. It is a two-year work visa that will allow graduates to remain in the UK and look for permanent employment. 

The post-study work visa is not a new piece of legislation. It was available to international students until 2012, when the government’s then-Home Secretary Theresa May scrapped it as part of her push for more restrictive immigration policies. 

Until summer 2021, international students on a Tier 4 visa with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a UK university were allowed to remain in the UK for four months to find a job. But if they couldn’t get employment within that time, they had to return to their home countries.  

Now, graduates have two years to work or look for work. After that, if the job you’ve found qualifies you for a skilled work visa, you will be able to apply for that to stay for even longer and continue with your work.

By re-introducing the post-study work visa, the UK government hopes “to attract the best talent from around the world to global Britain,” commented education secretary Gavin Williamson.

The details of the visa are still being worked out by the UK government. The current proposal does not restrict international students from any jobs and does not place a cap on how many people can apply for it. This may change as the legislation is refined and finalised. 

If you are applying for a student visa then check out our article on how to obtain a Tier 4 visa.