uk post study work visa

What happens after your UK Post Study Work Visa (PSW) expires?

What is the UK post study work visa (graduate visa)? 

The UK post study work visa allows graduates to look for any kind of job, and they will generally be allowed to stay for up to two years after graduation. That means: For the two years immediately after you graduate, you will be able to work in any role you find regardless of the job type – perm, contract (inside or outside IR35).

How long can you stay?

A Graduate visa lasts for 2 years. If you have a PHD or other doctoral qualification, it will last for 3 years. Your visa will start from the day your application is approved. But when that period ends and the PSW visa expires, anyone who wants to stay longer in the UK will have to apply to transfer to a ‘general work visa’ (or ‘skilled work visa’). For this, your job must fit the visa requirements for a Tier 2 visa, the ‘general work visa’.

That usually means you must be paid at least £25,600 per year; but for some jobs, this level can be very higher. You can check the Tier 2 eligibility criteria on the GOV.UK website. Now, the question is how do you acquire professional skills that can command high pay and provide you with a competitive advantage above your contemporaries?

Momentum by WayMaker has worked with many migrants in the UK in acquiring digital skills, experience and exposure to the UK workplace. Are you struggling to get professional jobs in the UK as a graduate visa holder or dependent? Have you applied to several jobs and yet no headway? Come and speak with us at Momentum.

Another good advantage of the skilled worker visa is that it does count towards indefinite leave to remain (ILR). This means after 5 years of living/working in the UK, you can apply for settlement in the UK unlike the study visa/graduate visa which doesn’t count towards settlement.

Get in touch with us as you prepare for the next phase of your job search, preparation and settlement in the UK. Call +44 20 4538 0208 or send an email to

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