Work visas after studies

  • Graduate route updates - 1 July 2021

    To apply for the Graduate route, Oxford Brookes needs to report to the UKVI which students have successfully completed their course and are in the UK. The University needs to have reported to the UKVI that you have completed your course. We will email you to say we have done this, please see our Graduate route visa web page for details.

    For those who started their course by distance learning in 2020 or 2021, the deadline for entering the UK for the first time is 27 September 2021, this has been extended from 21 June 2021. See the Graduate Route Visa section below for details.

    You may want to continue living and working in the UK after you complete your course. Below are the major routes international students can consider for work after studies.

    Oxford Brookes Careers offers help and advice about applying for jobs in the UK and is available for you for up to three years after you graduate. If you are considering applying for jobs in the UK we advise you seek guidance from Careers early to boost your employability help you get the right job when you graduate. 

  • The new Skilled Worker Route replaced Tier 2 on 1 December 2020. The changes are mostly beneficial for students who wish to work after studies.

    In order to apply under the Skilled Worker route you need sponsorship from a licensed employer to do a specific job that meets minimum levels of skill and salary. Jobs secured need to be a least RQF level 3 or above. The chart below shows the details of licenced employers and eligible jobs.

    To be eligible to apply, applicants must score 70 points. 50 of these points are mandatory and will be covered by the job offer (and sponsorship), meeting the RQF skill level, and English language.

    Mandatory points requirement = 50 points

    Confirmation of Sponsorship for a genuine job vacancy

    The job offer must be from an employer on the Register of licensed sponsors: workers 20 points
    The job must be at an appropriate skill level (RQF Level 3 and above) You must be sponsored for a job in an eligible occupation code as listed in Immigration rules Appendix Skilled Occupations 20 points
    English language at Level B1 and above Successful completion of a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree taught in the UK will qualify you for this requirement. 10 points

     

    Student visa holders will qualify as ‘new entrants’ and do not need to acquire the additional 20 points, as long as they secure a job on a salary of least £20,480 (or 70% of the going rate for the roles, whichever is higher). They must apply within 2 years of the end date of their visa and they must have successfully completed one of the following in the UK:

    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Master’s Degree
    • PhD or other doctorate qualification
    • A Postgraduate Certificate in Education
    • A Professional Graduate Diploma in Education

    Students can apply from 3 months before the end date of their course. PhD students can apply after studying towards their qualification for at least 12 months in the UK.

    The application process

    As well as satisfying the points requirement, you will also need to:

    • Pay the application fee - the standard fee ranges from £610 to £1,408 depending on your circumstances.
    • Pay the healthcare surcharge - this is usually £624 per year.
    • Satisfy the finance requirements. If are applying in the UK and you have been in the country on a Student visa for the past 12 months, you should meet the financial requirement and you will not need to show evidence of funds. If you apply from outside the UK, to meet the financial requirement, you will need to show that you have £1,270 for a period of 28 consecutive days, and this needs to be in a bank account in your name. You cannot use your parent’s finances.

    See the full UKVI guidance for applying for the Skilled Worker visa.

    Further advice from UKCISA

    The UK government has announced a new visa available for graduates. This route will allow students to stay in the UK to work after they have completed their degree.

    Key points

      • The Graduate Route will be available to international students who have a valid Student visa at the time of application and have successfully completed a Bachelors or Postgraduate degree

      • The Graduate Route will open on the 1st July 2021.

      • This is an unsponsored route, graduates will not need to have a job to apply. Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work, or look for work in the UK at any skill level for a maximum period of two years. (PhD students will be able to stay for three years). This route also allows you to be self-employed.

      • If you have dependents with you on your Student visa, they can apply to be dependants on your Graduate visa. They will only be able to apply if they are with you in the UK when you make your Graduate visa application.

       

    The application process

    • You can only apply for the Graduate route in the UK. The deadline for applying will be the expiry date of your Student visa. As long as you apply by this date, your Student visa will be extended until you receive the outcome of your Graduate route application.

    • You will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (£624 per year) and the visa application fee (£700).

    • You will not need to provide evidence that you can financially support yourself when you apply for the Graduate route. However, you should be aware that you may not be able to find paid employment straight away, therefore you should ensure you have enough money to pay for living costs until you are employed.

    Important COVID-19 concessions and deadlines

    There is a deadline for some students to be in the UK by if they have been studying online and not yet entered the UK. Please see below for details. 

    Course Course length Deadline to be in the UK
    Started in 2020  12 months or less 27 September 2021 or the end date of your Student visa, whichever is sooner (this deadline has been extended from 21 June 2021) 
    Started in 2021 12 months or less 27 September 2021 or the end date of your Student visa, whichever is sooner 
    Finishes in summer 2021 Any Before your Tier 4 visa expires

     

    Further information:

    International Student Advice Team- Graduate route visa

    UKCISA- Graduate route (“Post-study work”)

    Home Office- Fact sheet: Graduate immigration route

     

    If you are a Brookes graduate (undergraduate or above), this programme gives you the opportunity for setting up your own business in the UK after finishing your studies.

    The scheme is run by the Brookes Enterprise team and is a selective process for entrepreneurs with innovative and competitive business ideas. The team are particularly looking to endorse businesses whose product/services offer digital or tech solutions. The scheme allows students to build their business under the support and guidance of business mentors. For more information email: enterprise-support@brookes.ac.uk

    If you are successful in receiving an endorsement, you can apply for a visa for 2 years.

    You can apply for the visa from the UK before your current Student/Tier 4 visa expires. You cannot start your business activity until you receive your Start Up visa. This should be within 8 weeks. If you have in the UK for the past 12 months, you should meet the financial requirement and you will not need to show evidence of funds.

    If you apply from outside the UK, to meet the financial requirement, you will need to show that you have £1,270 for a period of 28 consecutive days, and this needs to be in a bank account in your name. You cannot use your parent’s finances.

    See the full UKVI guidance on applying for a Start-up visa.

    For further information email isat@brookes.ac.uk.

    The Doctorate Extension Scheme is for PhD students coming to the end of their course who want to work in the UK for up to 12 months after completing their PhD.

    You must apply within the 60 days before the expected completion date of your PhD and before you are awarded.

    If you have been sponsored for your PhD studies then you will need a letter of permission from your sponsor in order to make your DES application.

    You will need to able to show that you have £2,046 for living costs for 28 days before you make your DES application. If you have been living in the UK for 12 months with valid permission before you make your application you won’t need to show that you can support yourself.

    You apply using the Tier 4 (General) application form with a CAS from Oxford Brookes.

    More information from UKCISA

     

    From summer 2021 the Doctorate Extension Scheme will be replaced by the Graduate route visa. PhD graduates can apply for three years of permission to live and work in the UK under the Graduate route visa. If you have permission under the Doctorate Extension Scheme you will not be able to switch into the Graduate route visa.

    This route has replaced the Tier 5 Temporary worker visa.

    This route has 5 subcategories:

    Creative and Sporting

    Charity Worker

    International Agreement

    Religious Worker

    The above categories allow you to work in these specific areas for a period of one or two years depending on the scheme. Visas for these categories require sponsorship from an employer who is listed in the Worker and Temporary worker register of sponsors. This register indicates the type of route the employer can sponsor, you should search for employers for the route you want to apply for.

    Government Authorised Exchange

    This route is for those coming to the UK through approved schemes as a paid intern. The aim is to share knowledge, experience and best practice through work placements, whilst experiencing the wider social and cultural setting of the UK. A list of the companies who can offer Government Authorised Exchange visas can be found at Home Office list of Authorised Exchange Schemes.

    Some examples of companies on the list are:

    To be eligible to apply for the Government Authorised Exchange Temporary Worker visa you’ll need:

    • A Confirmation of Sponsorship reference number.
    • Money to support yourself. You will need to have £1,270 in your bank account for a period of 28 consecutive days. The last day of this 28 day period must be no later than 31 days before you make your application. The funds must be in your name, they cannot be in your parents’ name. Alternatively your sponsor can confirm that they will financially support you during your first month in the UK.

    If you have been living in the UK for 12 months with valid permission before you make your application you won’t need to show that you can support yourself.

    Applying in the UK

    You cannot usually switch into the Temporary worker route unless you are applying for the Government Exchange Scheme and you hold, or were last granted permission as a Student either on the Student or Tier 4 visa and meet the following requirements:

    • You are, or were last sponsored by either: (i) a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; or (ii) an overseas higher education institution, to do a short-term study abroad programme in the UK.
    • You have obtained a UK recognised degree during your most recent grant of leave.
    • You are being sponsored under Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) either to undertake a period of postgraduate professional training or work experience which is required to obtain a professional qualification or professional registration in the same field as your UK qualification or you are being sponsored for up to 12 months to undertake an internship which directly relates to your UK qualification
    • Your internship is not filling a permanent vacancy.
    • Your employer does not intend to employ you in the UK once your training or work experience for which you are being sponsored has ended.

    This route has replaced the Tier 5 Youth Mobility scheme visa.

    If you are a national of one of the following countries, you may be eligible to apply for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa:

    Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Taiwan.

    You cannot switch into this immigration category from within the UK. You can apply from any country where you are legally present and have been given authority to live in that country for more than six months (if you are from San Marino, you must apply from San Marino).

    You must be between 18 and 30 years old to apply for this visa.

    You will also need to have funds of £2,530 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days a specified in UKVI Appendix Finance

    Information from the Home Office

    Further advice from UKCISA