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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. If you want to stay in the UK after your course or return for graduation ceremonies, here's your options.

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 to return to the UK and attend your graduation ceremony.


Learn more: Factsheet: Graduation Ceremony and Visas (PDF 388KB)

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

For graduates who wish to remain in (or return to) the UK to develop a credible business idea.


Conditions

If successful, you will be allowed to stay for 12 months. This period may be extended for another 12 months if your business has been developed successfully.


You will need endorsement from a UK higher education institution or via the UK Government’s Sirius programme. 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 websites.

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.


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 Initially 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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