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UK Post Study Visa

If you are a foreign national from outside the EEA and Switzerland studying in the UK and wish to extend your leave, you can do so through several visa options.

If you wish to pursue another degree either at the undergraduate or post-graduate level, you can apply to extend your leave to study a new course.


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You may want to apply for a work visa dependant on your occupation of choice, your present visa status and the desired duration of stay. Work visa categories you can apply for include the Tier 2 Skilled Work Visa, and the Temporary Tier 5. If you plan on setting up a business, you can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa or a Tier 1 Graduate Visa (if you hold a UK degree). You can also apply for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent.


Can I apply for an extension on my Tier 4 Student Visa?

Visa extension for people on a Tier 4 Student Visa status can apply for an extension if they wish to continue their studies. This is possible if you wish to study for a higher educational qualification, or you are unable to complete your study within the required duration.

However, to qualify for an extension on the course of study, you need to be on the same level as your current course or on a higher level. For an extension to be granted, you must have an offer to a place on a course with a licenced Tier 4 sponsor.

Can I switch to a Tier 2 Visa if I am a student with a Tier 4 visa?

Yes, you can. You need to have a job offer with an annual compensation of at least £20,800 from a business with a Sponsorship Licence to employ foreign national. As a skilled worker with a gainful employment, you can stay in the UK for 5 years.

Can I switch to a Tier 5 Visa?

The Tier 5 visa is for temporary workers and is a route available to persons who wish to stay in the UK after the completion of their course of study. The duration of stay is 12 months or less. You will also need a job offer from a business/company with a licenced Tier 5 Sponsorship.

What are my options if I am a Post-Doctorate Student?

As a post-doctorate student, you can continue your stay in the UK for 12 months after completion of your course due to the Doctorate Extension Scheme. To be eligible you need to hold a tier 4 visa for PhD studies on a recognized UK higher education institution, you must apply and file your application from within the United Kingdom.

This scheme allows you to search for tier 2 employment opportunities or start your own business.

When can I apply for a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa?

If you wish to start a business after completion of your course of study, the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is a viable alternative. To qualify, you need to have an officially endorsed business idea and hold a recognized UK degree (Bachelor’s or higher). In addition, you should be able to prove that you have access to funds to support your stay in the UK.

While this does not lead directly to permanent residence, it is an excellent platform from which to switch to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa or other Tier 1 visa options. The Graduate Entrepreneur Visa is competitive and has a high refusal rate.

Why choose Optimus Law?

Our team of capable immigration lawyers will ensure your Post Study visa application is done properly and submitted on time. We can also help you explore all options available to you if you are unsure of which route to take. As part of our services, we will help in

  • Determining your eligibility for the available Post Study visa option available, as well as discussing other options available to you.
  • Preparing for you a cover letter to go with your application forms and supplementary documents.
  • Filling out the visa application and submitting all documents in a timely manner.
  • Liaising with the Home Office and your licenced sponsor for the length of your application, and
  • Providing you with full legal representation throughout your application.

We can also work around your schedule. You can contact us via Skype, telephone, or through email. Our team of lawyers are always ready to help.

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