Visa Options After Completing Your Course

Students who complete their course and have a Tier 4 (General) visa must leave the UK before this visa expires.

However, students may be able to stay or return to the UK using another type of visa. This depends on their circumstances and their purpose for being in the UK.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

This visa is for students who have successfully completed a degree course at UAL and wish to remain in (or return to) the UK to develop a genuine and credible business idea.

UAL students and graduates can switch to this type of visa whilst inside the UK (before their Tier 4 (General) visa expires) or apply from outside the UK.

Successful applicants will be given permission to stay in the UK for 12 months, which may be extended for another 12 months if successful progress has been made in developing their business.

A key requirement to apply for a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa is an endorsement from a UK higher education institution (e.g. a university) or via the UK Government’s Sirius programme. See our information for students and graduates wishing to apply for an endorsement from UAL.

Full details about this type of visa can be seen on the UK Government and UKCISA websites.

Tier 2 (General) visa

This visa is aimed people who want to be employed in the UK. Applicants must have been offered a skilled job by an employer holding a Tier 2 sponsor licence (see list) and a salary of at least £20,800.

UAL students and graduates can switch to this visa whilst inside the UK (before their Tier 4 (General) visa expires) or apply from outside the UK.

Full details about this type of visa can be seen on the UK Government and UKCISA websites.

Tier 4 (General) visa for sabbatical officers

This visa is for UAL students and recent graduates who have been elected to sabbatical positions within Arts Students’ Union or the National Union of Students. It is initially granted for up to one year, with the possibility of extending it for one further year if you are re-elected.

UAL students and graduates can switch to this visa whilst inside the UK (before their Tier 4 (General) visa expires) or apply from outside the UK.

Full details about this type of visa can be seen on the UKCISA website.

Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa

This visa allows people to live in the UK to study, work, run a business or just experience life.

It is aimed at young people aged 18 to 30 who are nationals of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Taiwan. British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens and British Nationals (Overseas) can also apply.

UAL students and graduates can apply from outside the UK. Applications cannot be made from inside the UK.

Full details about this type of visa can be seen on the UK Government and UKCISA websites.

This visa allows people to live in the UK to study, work, run a business or just experience life.

It is aimed at young people aged 18 to 30 who are nationals of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Taiwan. British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens and British Nationals (Overseas) can also apply.

UAL students and graduates can apply from outside the UK. Applications cannot be made from inside the UK.

Full details about this type of visa can be seen on the UK Government and UKCISA websites.

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker- Government Authorised Exchange)

This visa allows people to take part in a specific work placement scheme in the UK of up to one or two years. See the list of schemes.

UAL graduates can switch to this visa whilst inside the UK (before their Tier 4 (General) visa expires) in some cases, or can apply from outside the UK.

Full details about this type of visa can be seen on the UK Government and UKCISA websites.

UK Ancestry visa

This visa is for Commonwealth citizens planning to work in the UK, who can prove that one of their grandparents was born in the UK. It can be granted for five years initially, with the possibility of extending it for another five years.

UAL students and graduates can apply from outside the UK. Applications cannot be made from inside the UK.

Full details about this type of visa can be seen on the UK Government and UKCISA websites.

Partner of someone settled in the UK

This visa is for people who wish to join or remain with their partner who is a British citizen, has settled status in the UK (i.e. no limit to how long they can live here), or who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK.

‘Partner’ is defined as someone aged 18 or over with whom you are married, in a civil partnership or living together in a relationship for two years.

Full details about this type of visa can be seen on the UK Government website.

Other options

All options for staying or returning to the UK can be seen on the UK Government website. 

Help

The Student Advice Service is available to provide advice on student immigration issues, but they may need to refer you to an external regulated immigration adviser if you need help with immigration issues outside the scope of their expertise.