Stay Back Period and Post Study Work Permit in the UK

By Cyril Zachariah Updated On - Apr 05, 2022 02:47 PM

If you are planning to work after studying in the UK, the federal government of the country has announced a new Graduate Route, which allows international students to stay in the UK for a mininum period of 2 years to look for work opportunities after completing their studies.

Among the major reasons for aspirants to choose to study abroad is to find job opportunities and settle down. However, various regulations outlining an international student’s ability to stay back in a country and even find work opportunities can be extensive. One of the countries that offer really great post-study opportunities to international students is the United Kingdom (UK).

The UK has been one of the top study abroad destinations in the world, along with the US, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Australia, among others. While the UK is home to some of the highly renowned and sought after universities, the UK also offers some of the best post-study or postgraduate work opportunities to international students.

In recent years, the UK government has been working towards attracting more international students to its universities through new and improved opportunities. This has been true especially for those looking to stay back and apply for post-study work permits in the UK. Recently, the UK government released a new pathway for students to find work after completing their studies at one of the several thousands of universities in the country.

In this article, we shall discuss everything you need to know about staying back and post-study work permits in the UK.

Are you looking to work in the UK after completing your studies in one of the UK’s top universities? Then look no further! Find out the best universities and courses in the UK with the help of our Study Abroad Expert team. 

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Stay Back and Post-Study Work Permit in the UK - Highlights


UK Graduate Route

UK Graduate Route Duration

  • Graduates - 2 Years

  • PhD Graduates - 3 Years

UK Graduate Route Visa Requirements

  • Tier 4 or Student Permission required at the minimum.

UK Graduate Route Academic Requirements

  • Bachelors, Masters or PhD degree earned from one of the recognised UK higher education institutions.

Other Requirements for UK Graduate Route

  • Students should receive their UK degree during their current Student Permission or Tier 4 Visa.

  • They should have received the degree as per the course/degree mentioned in their CAS.

  • Commonly, students will be required to stay in the UK and complete their entire course (if the course is less than 12 months) or at least 12 months of the course (if the course duration is more than 12 months) in the UK itself.

  • However, there are Covid-19 concessions currently which allows students to complete their course in distance learning mode, provided the student is able to enter the UK before the end of their Student Permission/Tier 4 visa.

UK Graduate Route Application Process

  • Students must be physically present within the UK if they wish to apply for the Graduate Route in the UK.

  • Students can apply online, however, as mentioned above, they must be within the UK to do so.

  • The Tier4/Student Permission allows students to travel back to the UK after completing their course, wherein, during the window of opportunity, students will be able to apply for the Graduate Route.

UK Graduate Route Application Fee

  • Application Fee - GBP 700

  • Immigration Health Surcharge - GBP 624 per year

Also Read: Reasons for Rejection of the UK Study Visa

UK Graduate Route: What You Should Know

UK’s latest immigration move saw the country opening its doors to skilled and qualified professionals who wished to stay back and find work after completing their studies. As of 1st July 2021, all international students with valid visas and recognised UK degrees can apply for the Graduate Route and find work in the country.

The move came after the UK expressed its interest in retaining the best and the brightest from around the globe, retaining top talent to make the next big move towards advancement. This is especially beneficial for Indian students who have garnered the reputation of being among the best in the world.

The new “Graduate Route”, also known as the “Post-Study Work Visa” offers students the opportunities to find work and continue to work after graduating for a period of 2 years. Like all pathways and routes, there are certain guidelines and regulations that should be satisfied before students are able to make use of the opportunities.

Here’s what you need to know about the Graduate Route in the UK for international students.

Also Read:

Study Back Period and Post Study Work Permit to Study Abroad- All You Need to Know! 

Study Back Period and Post Study Work Permit in the USA

Study Back Period and Post Study Work Permit in Canada

UK Graduate Route Requirements

If you are an international student studying in the UK, you will most likely be eligible for the UK graduate route, however, there are more requirements that should be satisfied before you are considered fully eligible for the post-study work visa route. Listed below are some of the requirements to apply for the UK Graduate Route as an international student.

  • Visa Requirements: All students who have valid Student Permission or are pursuing higher education under Tier 4 are eligible to apply for the Graduate Route in the UK. As per UKCISA, a student’s Student Permission should be sponsored by a Higher Education provider listed in the Register of Student Sponsors. There are certain exceptions and inclusions as well.

  • Academic Qualification: All international students applying to the route will be required to possess the following valid qualifications;

    • An Undergraduate or Bachelors degree;

    • A Postgraduate or Masters degree;

    • A Doctoral or PhD degree; and

    • Several other programmes are also included in the list such as a law conversion course, a legal practice course, a Bar practice course, a foundation programme in Medicine or Dentistry, a PG certificate or diploma in education, etc.

  • Additionally, students should also ensure that the programme they have completed and received a valid degree was completed during the current Tier 4 or Student Permission, and should be the same course as that mentioned in your Confirmation Acceptance Studies (CAS).

  • Study in UK Requirement: As part of the deal, students are required to study in the UK for a “relevant period”. The Relevant Period is classed as the time spent studying a course in the UK.

    • If your course of study is less than 12 months long, the regulations state students should complete the entire course while staying in the UK itself.

    • If your course of study takes more than 12 months to complete, then the regulations state that you should have studied in the UK for at least 12 months.

    • However, with Covid-19 disrupting travel between countries, this requirement has been temporarily dropped as a requirement to apply for Graduate Route. For some situations, students may be required to travel to the UK to still be considered eligible, but it is better to connect with your Study Abroad counsellor to know the latest information.

These are just some of the guidelines that you need to follow, there will be other regulations and restrictions that you may need to follow for you to be able to make use of the Graduate Route. The restrictions and guidelines have been defined for every type of international student graduating from a UK higher education institution.

Applying for a Student Visa? Have Your Applications Reviewed Now!

UK Graduate Route Application Process

If you find yourself eligible for the graduate route in the UK, then you can apply for the same provided you follow the aforementioned guidelines. The application process for UK’s Graduate Route is specific only to international students graduating from UK Universities, as outlined below:

  • Students interested in applying for the route must do so online. They are required to scan their Biometric Residence Permit using the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app and pay the application fees as well as the Immigration Health Surcharge.

  • It should be noted, interested students can only apply for the Graduate Route if they are in the UK. No eligible student with a valid Tier 4 or Student Permission will be able to apply for the Graduate Route if they are outside of the UK.

  • Students with a valid Student Permission or Tier 4 visa can re-enter the UK as long as their student visa permits before they apply for the Graduate Route. This also includes the span of time after a student graduates from a UK university.

  • Starting the day of being announced a student successfully graduating from a UK university to the date of expiration of the current Student Permission, students will be able to apply for the Graduate Route in the UK.

    • As soon as you apply for the Graduate Route within the window of opportunity, your Student Permission automatically extends until you receive a response to your application, even after the original date of expiration.

Also Read: Top Courses to Study in the UK for International Students

Application Fee for UK Graduate Route

As is customary, when applying for a new visa route, all applicants are required to pay a certain amount as an application fee. Along with the application fee, students are required to pay an Immigration Health surcharge as well.



Application Fee

GBP 700

Immigration Health Surcharge

GBP 624 per year

Note: When paying the Immigration Health Surcharge, students must note that they will be asked to pay the IHS fee every year of extension, i.e. 3 years for PhD graduates and 2 years for all other graduates.

There are several conditions to the UK Graduate Route including the restrictions to extend your stay in the UK, studying under the graduate route and which courses you can study, among other things.

Also Read: Application Deadlines for Popular UK Universities in 2021-2022

For those interested in applying for the Graduate Route and who wish to learn more about working after studying in the UK, then we recommend connecting our study abroad counsellors who are dedicated to helping you through the entire process. We are thrilled to know that many of our students are now enrolled at their desired colleges as a result of our Study Abroad experts' advice. Know More.

See If You Qualify for the Graduate Route in the UK! Avail Expert Guidance for FREE

If you wish to learn more about studying abroad and applying to one of the best courses you can find around the world, then get yourself registered with us and find out the best and easiest way to apply to the top universities in the world. You can also reach out to us at

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