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Tier 1 - Post-Study Work visa


The Post-Study Work visa route was closed in line with changes to UK immigration policy in 2012.

As a result, graduating students who wish to remain in the UK must now apply through the Tier 2 visa programme.

While the Tier 2 programme has stricter requirements for qualification, employers who would have previously hired employees under the Post-Study Work visa route will not have to carry out a resident labour market test when sponsoring graduates.


The Tier 1 - Post-Study Work visa is a way for international graduates from UK universities to remain in the UK for a year after graduation. By doing so, a graduate visa holder can gain some UK work experience before returning to their home country, or applying for a further visa category such as the Tier 1 General Skilled or Work Permit to remain in the UK for longer.

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Tier 1 - Post-Study Work Visa Basic Requirements

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Visa Conditions

A successful applicant has 2 years to live and work in the UK with the Graduate Visa. If the applicant had a partner and dependent children with them in the UK on their student visa, then they can be transferred to the IGS visa. Otherwise they would have to apply for entry clearance.

English Language Ability

Applicants who do not have a degree taught in English must sit and pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and score at least 6.5 on each of the 4 components. IELTS measures the ability to communicate in English across all four language skills - listening, reading, writing and speaking - for people who intend to study or work where English is the language of communication.

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