Working after your studies

Find out how to apply for permission to work in the UK after your studies, and how to find a graduate job.

You may wish to stay in the UK to work after you've finished your studies. If so, you need to find out what immigration category you may be able to apply for. UKCISA provides useful information about this.

Employability Online also has dedicated pages for international students. We have lots of resources to help you with your job search.

Graduate route ('post-study work' visa)

The UK government launched this new post-study work visa in summer 2021.

This visa is for you if:

  • you're completing your degree or other eligible qualification, and
  • you want to stay and look for work in the UK.

You don't need a job offer to apply. You can do most types of work, including self-employed.

If you're completing an undergraduate or Masters course, you can stay for two years.

If you're completing a PhD, you can stay for three years.

Eligibility for the Graduate route

  • You must have studied your course in the UK on a Student route or Tier 4 visa.
  • You must have completed:
    • an undergraduate or postgraduate course, or
    • a professional law course, or
    • a PGCE.
  • You must make their application from within the UK before your Student route or Tier 4 visa expires.
  • There is no financial requirement.
  • If you completed the 2021/22 academic year remotely due to COVID-19, you must return to the UK by 30 June 2022 to make your application.
  • You can only make your application from within the UK.
  • NTU must confirm your eligibility for this route before you make an application.

Making your application

NTU Academic Registry will check your eligibility to apply for the Graduate route visa. We'll only do this once your final results are confirmed.

If you're eligible to apply, we'll notify UKVI. You'll get an email once we've done this, plus a reminder of your original CAS number. You need this email before you can apply. Please allow 10 working days after your exam board results for us to send the email to you.

We won't confirm eligibility for this route to UKVI if you:

  • have outstanding tuition fee or accommodation debt
  • weren't in full-time attendance when you finished your course, e.g. you were repeating without attendance
  • passed your course with a fall-back award, e.g. a PG Diploma instead of an MSc
  • you don't study on a Student visa, e.g. dependants etc.

Students with resits

Not all students will be eligible for the Graduate route visa.

If you're doing re-sits or referrals, please check when your results will be published. Your subject administrator should be able to tell you.

One week before your visa expires, your final results must be:

  • confirmed, and
  • updated on the University record system.

That allows time for the processing of your results and the checking of your eligibility. These must be complete before your visa expires.

If there's enough time on your Student visa to complete all parts of your course, you won't be eligible to extend it. This applies even if you don't have time to wait for your results.

If you're in this situation, you won't be eligible for the Graduate route visa. You'll need to look for other opportunities, such as the Skilled Worker visa.

See the UKCISA website for further information about the:

  • application process
  • costs
  • eligibility criteria.

If you're thinking of applying, attend one of our regular information sessions. We hold these every other Thursday from 1 pm to 2 pm over Microsoft Teams. Please use our online booking form.

Applications are made online on the gov.uk website.

The Graduate Route does not automatically lead to settlement in the UK.

Other immigration options

The Skilled Worker visa

The Skilled Worker visa was formerly the Tier 2 visa. To apply through this route, you need a licensed employer to sponsor you. They must be sponsoring you to do a specific job that meets minimum levels of skill and salary.

You can apply in the UK to switch from the Student or Graduate route to the Skilled Worker route. You'll probably be considered a 'new entrant'. That means you'll only need to meet the lower minimum salary requirement. You can find further information on the UKCISA website.

A local solicitor's firm specialising in immigration law offers free 15-minute appointments to:

  • NTU international students
  • employers who are in discussion about a job offer.

These solicitors can answer queries about the Skilled Worker visa. To access this free advice, email us with a brief outline of your query.

Youth Mobility Scheme visa (T5)

The Youth Mobility Scheme visa (T5) is for young people from participating countries and territories. You can experience life in the UK for a period of two years. This visa permits full-time work.

Start-up visa

The Start-up visa allows selected graduates to develop their business idea. Visit the NTU Enterprise website for

  • details
  • eligibility criteria
  • information about how NTU supports entrepreneurs.

For full details of the immigration routes allowing you to work in the UK, please visit the UKVI website. Information specific to international students is available on the UKCISA website.

Finding a graduate job

Our Employability team supports current students and recent graduates looking for work. They can offer extensive information and resources.

  • Last updated: 25/05/2022