Student visa (formerly called Tier 4) is to come and study in the UK. If you study at a degree level at a UK university, you can work part-time 20 hours a week during the term, full-time on vacation and full-time for 4 months after completion of the course.
You can switch to the new Skilled Worker visa after completion of a degree course, or even within 3 months before that! There are benefits for employers to hire Student graduates – they can offer a New Entrant salary, which makes it more affordable for the employers and makes sponsorship more likely for the migrants. After 5 years on this visa you can qualify for settlement.
If you are a business, looking to hire and sponsor migrant workers, including graduates, please visit our page for UK Employers here.
Study – Post Study Work – Work – Settlement
There is an exciting development coming soon – a revival of a Post-Study Work visa! It existed before 2012 and was a visa for 2 years, allowing graduates to remain in the UK for 2 years – to look for work, to work as an employee or to set up a business in the UK. While we are still awaiting the details, it is expected to be available for those graduating in the summer 2021. In in that case, you could come to study for a UK degree, get a 2-year visa to look for work, then switch to the above – mentioned Skilled Worker visa. After 5 years – settlement. Post-Study Work visa won’t count towards settlement, so if you are able to find Sponsorship for a Skilled Worker visa sooner, you could start ‘your’ 5 years sooner too.
Study – Stay with Partner – Settle
If you are about to complete your degree at a UK university and wish to remain with your British partner here, you can apply for a visa based on your relationship. As a Spouse or an Unmarried Partner, for the latter you need to have lived together for 2 years. If you cannot meet this rule now, you may consider getting a Post-Study Work visa first, which is for 2 years and allows to work, and then apply for a Partner visa. A new PSW visa is expected to start from summer 2021.
10 years continuous residence in the UK