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Guide to Post-Graduate Work Visa in the U.K.

Introduction: 

If you have completed your post-graduation studies in the UK and wish to build your career foundation there, you must start looking into multiple ways of acquiring a work visa from the UK government. One must begin with their research and application process in the last semester itself to avoid any last-minute chaos. 


The UK government offers several visa options for international students who wish to stay and work in the UK after completing their postgraduate studies. The most common route is the Graduate Visa or Skilled Worker Visa, but other lesser-known options are also available, depending on your circumstances.


Guide to Post-Graduate Work Visa in the U.K.
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Here is a comprehensive guide on different modes to apply for work visa in the UK:


1. Graduate Visa

The Graduate Visa is designed for international students who have completed a degree at an eligible UK higher education provider. It allows you to stay in the United Kingdom for a period of 2 years, or 3 years if you hold a PHd degree or any other doctoral qualification. You must reside in the UK when applying. Once the application gets processed, one can work in most jobs, look for work, be self-employed, and do voluntary work. However, you cannot work as a professional sportsperson. Or apply for benefits or state pension.

Applying for a graduate visa before your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa expires is advised.


Eligibility

  • Degree Completion: You must have completed a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree, or other eligible courses.

  • Student Visa: You must have a valid Student Visa at the time of application.

  • Institution: Your university must be a licensed student sponsor that has confirmed your course completion to the Home Office.


Cost

When you apply for a Graduate visa, you must pay the £822 application fee and the healthcare surcharge (usually £1,035 for each year you’ll be in the UK).


2. Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker Visa is for individuals offered a skilled job in the UK. It lasts up to 5 years and can be extended if required. After 5 years, one can also apply for permanent residency.


Eligibility

  • Job Offer: You must have a job offer from a UK employer who is a licensed sponsor.

  • Skill Level: The job must meet the required skill level (RQF level 3 or above).

  • Salary: The minimum salary threshold is £26,200 or the 'going rate' for the specific job, whichever is higher.

  • English Language: You must prove your English language proficiency.


Some other ways to work without an offer letter in the UK include the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa, India Young Professional Scheme Visa, Global Talent Visa, British National Visa, UK Ancestry Visa, and High Potential Individual Visa.   


Conclusion

To enhance your application, begin with the process, leaving adequate time before your current visa expires. Check out the official websites of the UK Government for any updates or changes in visa policies. Under complex circumstances, do not refrain from seeking help from an advisor.

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