Other Options

Tier 2 Skilled Sponsored Worker

If you are graduating with a degree at undergraduate (Bachelors) or postgraduate (Masters) level from a UK university and have the offer of a job from a UK licensed Tier 2 sponsor, you will be able to apply for a UKBA Tier 2 visa.
To be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 visa you will need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • You must be in the UK and your student visa must still be valid
  • You must have a job offer from a UK Border Agency Licensed Tier 2 sponsor. View list of sponsors here.
  • You must meet the normal criteria for Tier 2, with the exception of the Resident Labour Market test requirement. This includes meeting the required English Language levels and maintenance money requirement.
  • You must be paid the minimum salary for the sector, as set out in the relevant code of practice, with a set minimum salary of £20,000.

Students who switch into Tier 2 under these rules will be able to sponsor any dependents who accompanied them as students but will not be able to sponsor any new dependants.

Find out more about Tier 2 here

Download Frequently Asked Questions factsheet

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

The UK Home Office has stated that they intend to develop arrangements within the immigration system to enable the 'brightest and most innovative' students with a business idea to remain in the UK to pursue their ideas.  Working with the education and business sectors, the government are looking to design a process to identify those students who, through their studies have developed world class innovative ideas for example in science, technology or design which will help drive UK growth and productivity. The student's Tier 4 university sponsor will remain responsible for its graduates and must help them to develop their business idea. A maximum of 1000 of these visas will be issued in the first year and universities must select and nominate the graduates they intend to support.

For further information see the UKCISA website.

Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange

This visa allows individuals to come to the UK through approved schemes that aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice, and to experience UK's social and cultural life. BUNAC run one of these schemes – details can be found here.

You cannot normally apply for a Tier 5 visa from within the UK, if you are already in the UK as a Tier 4 student. However, the UK Government intends to make it possible for students to apply for Tier 5 visas in the UK if you need to stay for further training in your profession after your studies. You should check with your professional body (where applicable) if it is, or intends to apply to become a Tier 5 sponsor. For more information visit the UKBA website.