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Visa Options After Completing Your Course

Students who complete their course on a Tier 4 (General) visa must leave the UK before this expires. This section of the website provides information on visa options currently available once you’ve completed your course.

Graduation ceremonies

If your Tier 4 has expired or you have left the country once your course finished, you must apply for a suitable visa (e.g. Standard Visitor visa) to return to the UK and attend your graduation ceremony.


Learn more in our factsheet: Graduation ceremonies and visas (PDF 308KB)

Start Up visa

A new scheme that replaced Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) scheme.  A route for new entrepreneurs seeking to establish a business in the UK for the first time. Applicants must have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea. This idea must have been assessed and supported by an approved endorsing body.


Conditions

If successful, you will be allowed to stay in the UK for up to 2 years to develop your business.


You will need endorsement from a UK higher education institution or a business organisation. They must have a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs. Learn more about endorsement from UAL.


How to apply

You can switch to this type of visa before your Tier 4 (General) visa expires, or you can apply from outside the UK.


Learn more about this type of visa on the UK Government and UKCISA website.

Tier 2 (General) visa

For students and graduates who have a job offer.


Conditions

You must have been offered a skilled job by an employer holding a Tier 2 sponsor licence and a salary of at least £20,800.


How to apply

You can switch to this type of visa before your Tier 4 (General) visa expires, or you can apply from outside the UK (providing you meet the relevant criteria).


Learn more on the UK Government and UKCISA websites.

Tier 4 (General) visa for sabbatical officers

For  students and recent graduates with sabbatical positions within Arts Students’ Union or the National Union of Students.


Conditions

Initially up to 1 year, with the possibility of extending it for 1 further year if you are re-elected.


How to apply

You can switch to this type of visa before your Tier 4 (General) visa expires, or you can apply from outside the UK.


Learn more on the UKCISA website.

Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa

For students and graduates who want to study, work, run a business or just experience life in the UK.


Conditions

You must be aged 18-30 and from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea or Taiwan. British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens and British Nationals (Overseas) can also apply.


How to apply

From outside the UK only.


Learn more on the UK Government and UKCISA websites.

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange)

For graduates willing to take part in work placement schemes.


Conditions

Up to 1-2 years. You need to take part in one of the UK-government approved work placement schemes.


How to apply

You can switch to this type of visa before your Tier 4 (General) visa expires, or you can apply from outside the UK.


Learn more on the UK Government and UKCISA websites.

UK Ancestry visa

For Commonwealth citizens planning to work in the UK.


Conditions

You need to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK.


It can be granted for 5 years initially, with possibility of extending it for another 5 years.


How to apply

From outside the UK only.


Learn more on the UK Government and UKCISA websites.

Partner of someone settled in the UK

For people who wish to join or remain with their partner in the UK.


Conditions

Your partner must be a British citizen, have settled status in the UK (i.e. no limit to how long they can live here), or have 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 2 years.


Learn more on the UK Government website.

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