Provided you have studied a course of at least 12 months in length, your Tier 4 visa should expire four months after your course completion date, or six months for taught postgraduates.
During this four or six month period, you can work full time provided you have finished your course, including handing in all outstanding course work and dissertations. You are subject to the usual student employment restrictions, so you cannot be:
At the end of the four or six months, you must either leave the UK, or have applied for another visa. If you apply for a work visa (Tier 2), you may continue to work full time while the Home Office processes the application.
This is for current PhD students who require a visa for 12 months work experience on completion of their course. To apply:
There are very few work restrictions on the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme visa. The only employment you are not permitted to take is as a professional sportsperson or coach, or as a doctor or dentist in training. Once you have applied for the Doctorate Scheme, and completed your course, you may start work on these conditions before your visa has been processed.
The visa is for 12 months maximum, and will start on the course completion date given on the CAS. The starting date of the visa cannot be changed, even if your studies take longer than expected.
You cannot study full time on this visa; only ‘supplementary study’ is permitted.
Dependants can also apply, either from inside the UK or outside the UK.
You can switch in the UK from the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension visa to Tier 2 (General), Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), or any other category of Tier 1 visa.
There is information on the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
Most students use the Tier 2 (General) visa if they wish to work in the UK. The requirements for Tier 2 are more flexible for those applying in the UK with a valid Tier 4 visa, provided they have studied on this visa. The requirements are also more flexible for those applying for a PhD level job, or earning over £155,300 per annum.
For Tier 4 (General) visa holders wishing to switch into Tier 2 (General) the requirements are:
If you apply in the UK and you still have leave remaining on your student visa, your employer will not have to pass the Resident Labour Market Test. This means that your employer will not have to search the UK and EU job market and prove that you were the most suitable applicant, before they can offer you the job. Furthermore, your application will not affect the restricted numbers of non-EU applicants that your employer can offer a job to. This will make it much easier for an employer to offer you a position in their company.
Once you have submitted a Tier 2 application, you can take a permanent full time job while waiting for the visa to be processed.
Depending on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your employer, you may apply for a visa for a period of 3 or 5 years. If you apply for a 3 year visa, you will have the option later to apply for a further 3 years, provided you stay in employment. After 5 years, you can apply to settle in the UK provided you are earning at least £35,000 per year or if the job is on the Shortage Occupation list, is a PhD level job, or if you have Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) leave.
Please note that the University’s Immigration Advice Service is not able to advise on work visas, so questions should be directed to the HR (Human Resources) department of your potential employer.
Reading Recruiting International Graduates 2020 (PDF , 333kb) may be useful. It's aimed at employers, but it highlights some of the concessions made for new graduates switching into this category and looks at misconceptions employers have. Make sure your prospective employer understands the rules, as applicable to you as a current Tier 4 visa holder switching in the UK.
The Start-up visa scheme is aimed at people who wish to establish a business in the UK, and who have a business plan endorsed by a Home Office-approved endorsing body. It has replaced Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur. You can find out more information on the Gov.uk website, and the UKCISA website.
The University of York will endorse recent graduates (within two years) from the University of York who meet the criteria set out in the government's guidance.
If you are interested in applying for an endorsement, please complete the form on the Enterprise page for international students. Please note applications will be considered three times a year, in September, December, and March.
This visa route is aimed at graduates who require work experience, internships or professional training for their field of work, or for post-doctoral research projects. Find out more about Tier 5 (GAE) visas.
Eligibility requirements are:
A Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa is completely separate from the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa. The Youth Mobility visa allows nationals of the countries listed below to work in the UK for up to two years:
Places are limited annually and once the quota for the year has been reached you have to wait and try again later. Two key points: