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This factsheet sets out some of the options available to international students completing their studies in the UK. The best route for you will depend on your individual circumstances.
Type of visa
Tier 4 Student Visa
Need to be sponsored by a licensed Tier 4 sponsors.
Need to show academic progress from previous course.
Be aware of maximum periods of time you can spend as a Tier 4 student.
Undertake a further period of study.
Limited right to work during term time.
Tier 2 (General) visa
Need to be sponsored by a licensed Tier 2 sponsor.
Job needs to be skilled to degree level or above.
Minimum salary level set for the Home Office.
No need for the role to be advertised.
Can only work for the company that sponsors you.
Need to be sponsored by a company with a Tier 5 licence.
Short term work as an intern for either the licensed sponsor.
Would need to meet the immigration rules for a family member e.g. have a spouse or unmarried partner who is a British national or holds indefinite leave to remain.
Partner will need to meet the English language requirement.
Can live and work in the UK without restrictions.
Start Up Visa
Needs to be endorsed by a qualifying body, most likely to be a University.
Have a credible and innovative business idea.
Can work in the UK while establishing their own business.
Post Study Visa (from 2021)
Requirements still be to be formalised, but likely to be open to most graduates.
Will be able to work in the UK for a period of two years. This is likely to be a bridge to another type visa.
Please note the Immigration Rules change on a regular basis and this factsheet is up to date as of January 2020.
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