'From 6 April 2012, Tier 4 (Student) and Tier 1 (Post study work) visas are changing'
Working in the UK after you graduate
From 6 April 2012, the UK’s post-study work visa scheme (part of Tier 1), is closed to new applicants. If you want to work in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland after you complete your studies, you may be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa.
Tier 2 will be open to recent graduates with a Bachelor or Master’s degree, PhD, PGCE or PGDE from a UK recognised or listed body. You can only apply if you have an offer of a skilled job from an employer who is a licensed sponsor with UKBA. The job must also meet certain salary criteria.
Are you a budding entrepreneur?
- you are a student who has completed a degree course in the UK
- you want to develop ideas or entrepreneurial skills by setting up a business in the UK
- you are sponsored by the institution where you studied.
- have a job offer from a licensed sponsor
- pass a points-based assessment.
There are different requirements under the Youth mobility scheme.
When you apply for a Tier 4 student visa, you need to demonstrate that you will be able to support yourself financially as a student in the UK. This means you will have to be able to show that you have minimum amounts of money available to cover your living costs.
- in inner London, you'll need to show that you have £1,000 for each month of your course up to a maximum of nine months
- in other regions of the UK, you'll need to show that you have £800 a month up to a maximum of nine months.
This change is designed to make sure that international students have a comfortable experience in the UK and can support themselves financially.
According to International Pricing Study: A snapshot of UK and key competitor country international student fees, a report published in 2011 by the UK HE International Unit:
- The UK is cheaper than the US and Australia in terms of fees charged, based on the institutions surveyed in the study
- The UK is also cheaper than the US and Australia in terms of living costs and similar to the Netherlands and Germany.
From 6 April 2012, students on a Tier 4 visa are limited to spending five years on courses at degree level.
- if your undergraduate degree course is four or five years long and you want to study a Master's degree or PhD at a higher education institution (recognised body or institution in receipt of public funding)
- if you are studying a specific course: architecture, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and science, law, music (at a conservatoire).
Many international students who study in the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are keen to work while they study to supplement their finances, gain work experience and get to know the local community. And for some students, it is part of their course to complete a work placement.
With a Tier 4 visa, many students are able to work in the UK alongside their studies during vacations, and part time during the week. It's a good idea to check whether you are eligible
- If you are studying a course below degree level and/or you are not at a higher education institution, any work placements must be limited to one third of your total course time (previously the limit was 50 per cent).
- If you are studying at degree level or above at a higher education institution, you can spend 50 per cent of your time on a work placement.
You can find out more at the UK Border Agency website.