Working after your studies

Tier 4 Students
Once you have completed your studies, you can work full-time until your visa expires. Your course completion date is defined as the course end date on your CAS statement. You can contact the University’s International Visa Office at visaoffice@law.ac.uk if you want to confirm the date.

If you want to remain in or return to the UK and work after your studies, you will need to apply for new immigration permission. The options currently available to non-EEA students are listed below.


Tier 2 (General) Visa

This visa is the main employment route for students who want to remain in the UK to work. In order to qualify for Tier 2, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a job offer from an employer who is a Tier 2 Sponsor.
  • The job must be at a minimum skill level, or be in what the Home Office defines as a shortage area.
  • The minimum salary must be £20,800 (or £30,000 for certain applicants), but this can be higher depending on the job.
  • Receive a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) from your sponsor before applying for your visa.
  • Have at least £945 in your bank account for 90 days before you make your visa application.

You can switch into Tier 2 from within the UK, if you hold a valid Tier 4 visa. If you do this, your employer does not need to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test.  Also, the COS that you receive from your employer will not fall under the Home Office’s annual cap of 27,000.


You can apply for a Tier 2 visa once you have completed your degree. You will need to submit one of the following with your application:

  • Your original certificate of award (not a copy), which clearly shows your name, the course title/award and the date of course completion and pass or the date of award;
  • An original academic transcript on your institution’s official headed paper and issued by an authorised official.  It must also show your name, the course title/award, the course duration and the date you completed the course having sat all exams and presented all academic papers.  This includes any research reports and oral presentations (e.g. a viva).

Further information on how to apply for a Tier 4 visa can be found on this webpage.


Tier 5 (Youth Mobility) Visa
This scheme allows nationals from the following countries to come and work in the UK: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong (SAR), Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens and British Nationals (Overseas).

You can study, work in most jobs or be self-employed on this visa. However, you cannot receive public funds, work as a doctor, dentist in training or a professional sportsperson.

In order to apply for Tier 5 (Youth Mobility), you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be aged between 18 and 30 on the day of your application.
  • Have £1,890 in your personal bank account on the date on which you make your application.
  • Have not previously held a visa under this scheme or under the old “working holiday” scheme.
  • Have no children or other dependants who are financially reliant on you.

Your visa will be issued for 24 months, but cannot be extended and you cannot switch into another visa category within the UK.

You can apply for this visa at any time, but you must make your application in your home country (not in the UK).  Further information on how to apply can be found on this webpage.

Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange)
This visa allows a person to remain in the UK in order to undertake professional training or work experience. In order to qualify this visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be sponsored by a scheme that is on the approved Home Office list. You can find an up-to-date list on this webpage.
  • Receive a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) from the scheme before you apply for your visa.
  • Have at least £945 in your bank account for 90 days before you make your visa application.
  • The training/work experience must be a skilled and temporary role which is not an advertised or permanent vacancy.
  • The funding/salary must meet UK national minimum wage requirements.

Your visa will be issued for 12 or 24 months (depending on the scheme).  You must leave the UK on completion of your training/work experience.  If you want to switch into Tier 2 (see above), you must leave the UK and apply in your home country.

You can apply for your visa once you have been formally awarded your degree, but you may have to apply in your home country (depending on the scheme). Further information on how to apply can be found on this webpage.


Other Work Visas
There are other visas that allow you to work in the UK including:

Please click on the links to read more information on these visas and how to apply.

Please note that the University cannot sponsor students for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme visas. The University is not currently participating in the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme and the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme is only for those who have successfully completed a PhD.


Further information
 
Home Office website
https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas
 
UK Council for International Student Affairs website
https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice/Working/Working-after-studies