For many students looking to gain an international education, obtaining the correct visa is a major hurdle. Student visa applications can be a complex process even in the most straightforward cases. This guide breaks down the top options for an international student visa based on ease of approval.
Factors like application requirements, processing times, cost and the ability to work while studying all play a role in determining the overall difficulty level. Every situation is unique, so thorough research remains essential. However, these popular destinations profiled below generally offer student permit pathways that are more manageable than others.
A popular European study destination, the UK process targets a typical 3 week timeframe. Required documents cover areas like acceptance verification, finances, tuberculosis screening and country/program specific needs.
The post-study work visa allows employment up to 20 hours per week to offset living expenses. The initial visa application costs GBP £363. With transfer and banking services available in local currency, international students can optimize funding allocated for UK studies.
In summary, countries actively working to simplify student visa policies through transparency and targeted requirements present less obstacles for global learners. Continued diligence ensures the most rewarding international education experience possible within the outlined guidelines.
Step-by-step Application Guide For Post Study Work Visas
Details about the post-study work visa in the UK:
- The post-study work visa allows international graduates to work, or look for work, in any career or position for 2 years after completing their UK degree.
- To be eligible, the degree must have been completed at an institution with a Track Record of Compliance, which includes most UK universities. The degree level must be equivalent to a UK bachelor’s or master’s.
- There is no need to have a good job offer for application. Graduates can use the 2 years to find the right opportunity and gain UK work experience.
- It costs £715 to apply for the post-study work visa. It is point-based and applicants must meet minimum salary thresholds depending on their qualification level (£20,480 for bachelor’s, £23,020 for master’s).
- During the 2 years, visa holders can work for any employer, change jobs, and be self-employed. They can also travel in and out of the UK as often as needed.
- After 2 years on the post-study work visa, graduates may be eligible to switch into certain long-term work visas if they meet the requirements (e.g. skilled worker visa).
- It provides an invaluable opportunity for international students to gain UK qualifications and work experience, making it an attractive option for career development.
More information about the application process for the post-study work visa
Here are some additional details about applying for the post-study work visa:
- Passport + ID pages
- Qualification certificate
- Academic transcripts
- Proof of maintenance funds
- English test evidence (if required)
- £715 to be paid online using a debit/credit card
- Created through Gov.UK account after enrollment
- Includes personal, employment and qualification questions
- Upload passport photo as per specifications
- Booked after submitting online application
- Have fingerprints and photo taken at a UKVCAS service point
- Results included with application
- Non-priority: Up to 8 weeks to receive decision
- Priority (paid service): Up to 5 working days
- Email received with approval or refusal
- Biometric Residence Permit card issued if approved
- Can apply to Immigration Tribunals if refused
- New evidence or humanitarian reasons considered
Here are the main steps for applying for a post-study work visa in the UK:
- Check your graduation date – You must apply within the 3 month period before your course end date or within 3 months of your actual graduation date.
- Gather documents – This includes your academic qualification certificate, proof of ID, maintenance funds, tuberculosis test if applicable.
- Create an account on the UKVI website – You’ll complete your application and upload your documents through this account.
- Complete the online application form – Provide details about your personal circumstances, employment history, qualifications etc.
- Pay the visa fee – The current fee is £715 that can be paid online by debit/credit card during the application process.
- Book and attend a biometrics appointment – This involves providing your fingerprints and photo. Locations are available across the UK.
- Submit your application – Click submit once you’ve completed all the steps and provided required documents and biometric details.
- Wait for a decision – Most applications are processed within 8 weeks but it can take up to 12 weeks. You’ll be notified by email.
- Receive your Biometric Residence Permit – If approved, this physical card will be sent confirming your leave to remain for up to 2 years.
It’s crucial to follow guidance and check you meet eligibility when compiling information for the online application form.
What are the specific eligibility requirements for the post-study work visa?
Here are the key eligibility requirements for the UK post-study work visa:
- Complete an eligible course – A UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD at undergraduate level or above.
- Complete within last 12 months – You must apply within 3 months of graduating or within the 3 month period before course end date if still studying.
- Course length – The course must have been at least 12 months if at bachelor’s level or higher. Or 6 months if a Masters.
- Achieve qualification – You need to successfully complete and achieve the qualification for which you were enrolled on.
- Proof of identity – Valid passport and any other documentation like birth certificate if required.
- Maintenance funds – Funds of at least £1,270 for each month of the application up to a maximum of £2,530.
- English language ability – Requirements vary based on nationality but often IELTS 5.5 or above with no band less than 5.0.
- No breaches of immigration laws – You must not be in the UK unlawfully or breached any previous UK visa conditions.
- Meets salary requirement – For bachelor’s £20,480/year, master’s £23,020/year or PhD level equivalent.
What are the specific English language requirements for the post-study work visa?
The English language requirements for the UK post-study work visa depend on the applicant’s nationality:
- Nationals from majority English speaking countries: No English test required. This includes UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
- Nationals from countries in Appendix H: Must have passed an English test at B1 level or higher from an approved provider. This covers countries like China, Indonesia, Philippines.
- Nationals from other countries not mentioned: Must have passed one of the following during their studies in the UK:
- IELTS (academic module): Overall score of 5.5 or higher with no band below 5.0.
- Trinity ISE (integrated skills in English): Score of C1 or higher with no component score lower than C1.
- Pearson PTE (academic): Score of 42 with no communication sub-scores below 36.
- Cambridge CAE/CPE (certificate in advanced/proficiency English): Grade C or higher with no component score lower than C.
The test must have been taken within 2 years of applying for the post-study work visa. Hope this helps break down the specific language requirements!
Which English language tests are accepted for the post-study work visa?
The main English language tests accepted as evidence of English ability for the post-study work visa application are:
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – Academic module only
- Trinity ISE (Integrated Skills in English)
- Pearson PTE Test (Pearson Test of English Academic)
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
- Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)
- IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma
- SAT, ACT, TOEFL scores (in certain circumstances)
The specific scores required on each test vary depending on nationality (as outlined in my previous response).
The key accepted test providers are:
- IELTS – Taken at any IELTS test centre worldwide and results issued by the IELTS Administrative body, the British Council IDP:IELTS.
- Trinity ISE – Taken at any Trinity College London test centre.
- Pearson PTE – Taken at any Pearson-authorised test centre.
- Cambridge English exams (CAE, CPE) – Taken at a worldwide test centre and results issued by Cambridge Assessment English.
All tests must be from a Secure English Language Test (SELT) provider and be an unaffected test as listed on the UKVI list of recognised exams. IELTS and Trinity ISE are generally considered the most widely accepted options globally.
Here are some additional details about the post-study work visa in the UK:
- You can apply up to 3 months before your course end date if still studying, or within 3 months of graduation. This allows time to prepare the application.
- Your study qualification must be completed from a UK Higher Education Provider with a Track Record of Compliance (TRC). Most major British universities hold TRC status.
- Maintenance funds can be personal savings, sponsor funding or a combination. Funds must be in your own bank account 4 months prior to application.
- You cannot switch into this visa from a tourist visa. You must enter the UK with the appropriate student visa and complete the full course of study.
- Online applications take 8 weeks to process normally. Paper applications may take longer. You’ll receive an email decision, so make sure contact details are up to date.
- If approved, the 2-year leave to remain visa is subject to no unexplained gaps in employment of more than 30 days.
- You can use these 2 years to gain UK work experience to potentially switch to long term work visas like the Skilled Worker visa afterwards.
- Your qualifications and work authorization in the UK can open up future career opportunities both domestic and internationally.
FAQs on UK post study work visa
1. What are post-study work visas?
Ans: Post-study work visas are immigration permits granted by certain countries to international students who have completed their studies and wish to work in that country for a specific period after graduation.
2. What is the UK post-study work visa?
Ans: The UK post-study work visa, also known as the Graduate Route, is a visa category introduced by the UK government that allows international students to work in the UK for two years after completion of their degree.
3. What are the eligibility requirements for the UK post-study work visa?
Ans: To be eligible for the UK post-study work visa, applicants must have successfully completed a degree from a recognized UK higher education institution, have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application, and meet certain English language proficiency requirements.
4. What is a post-study visa in the UK?
Ans: In the UK, a post-study visa refers to the visa category that allows international students to stay in the country after completing their studies to seek employment opportunities. The UK post-study work visa is an example of a post-study visa.
5. What is the duration of the 2-year post-study work visa in the UK?
Ans: The 2-year post-study work visa in the UK allows international students to work full-time in the UK for a period of two years after completing their degree.
6. What are the fees associated with the post-study work visa in the UK?
Ans: The fees for the post-study work visa in the UK can vary and are subject to change. It is recommended to check the official UK government website or consult with the relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information on fees.
7. Is there a post-study work visa specific to London?
Ans: No, the post-study work visa in the UK, including the 2-year post-study work visa, applies to the entire United Kingdom, which includes London. The visa allows international students to work anywhere within the UK.
8. How can I apply for a post-study work visa?
Ans: To apply for a post-study work visa, you typically need to submit an application to the relevant immigration authorities of the country where you completed your studies. For the UK post-study work visa, you would need to apply online through the official UK government website or an authorized visa application center. It is important to review the specific requirements and follow the application process outlined by the authorities.