UK PSW Visa 2024 |Post Study Work Visa|

PSW Visa

Post-Study Work” visas are known as PSW visas. The Graduate Route is the official name for the PSW visa for the UK.

International graduates can apply for a PSW visa under the graduate route, which allows them to remain in the UK for a set amount of time—two or three years, depending on their degree program—after finishing their studies.

Compared to other visa pathways, the PSW visa offers graduates a simpler means of obtaining legal residency in the UK upon graduation. Employers can hire recent graduates with this visa without having to meet the financial requirements or comply with regulatory requirements associated with employment sponsorship.

In our guide to the UK’s PSW visa, we go over what this path permits and how to apply.

How does a UK PSW visa work?

The “Graduate Immigration Route” (PSW) visa permits:

After earning an undergraduate or master’s degree at an accredited university, international students are allowed to remain in the UK and work or look for work for a set two-year term.

After completing their PhD studies at an accredited university, international students are allowed to remain in the UK for a set three-year period of time to work or look for work.

Graduates who wish to remain in the UK on a PSW visa are not required to get a Certificate of Sponsorship or sponsorship from an employer or educational institution. A graduate’s educational institution no longer sponsors them as a student after they convert to a PSW visa.

Graduates on a PSW visa are not permitted to work as professional athletes. Still, they are allowed to pursue additional education while in the UK as long as it is done at a school that sponsors students for their Tier 4 General student visa.

When a student visa holder converts to a PSW visa, family members who are currently lawfully residing in the UK as their dependents will be permitted to remain in that status. New dependents from outside the UK will not be allowed to accompany the holder of the PSW visa in the UK, with the exception of children born there.

The duration of stay in the UK under the Graduate Immigration Route is not eligible for residence in the UK, and the visa is not renewable. Later in this post, we look at ways to stay in the UK after receiving a PSW visa.

With the launch of the Graduate Route, the Doctorate Extension Scheme—which let PhD holders remain in the UK for an additional year—was closed.

How long you can stay

A Graduate visa lasts for two years. If you have a Ph.D. or other doctoral qualification, it will last for three years.

Your visa will start from the day your application is approved.

If you want to stay longer in the UK

You cannot extend your Graduate visa. However, you may be able to switch to a different visa, for example, a Skilled Worker visa.

Check you can apply for another type of visa to stay in the UK.

How to apply

You must apply online.

Your partner and children can also apply to stay in the UK if they are eligible.

Getting a decision

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity, and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within eight weeks.

You can stay in the UK while you wait for a decision.

How much it costs

When you apply for a Graduate visa, you’ll need to:

  • pay the £822 application fee
  • pay the healthcare surcharge – this is usually £624 for each year you’ll be in the UK.

Studying with a Graduate visa

You can only study with a Graduate visa if your chosen course is not eligible for a Student visa. If your course is suitable for a Student visa, you can extend your Student visa instead.

You may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if you’re studying or researching sensitive topics.

When to apply

You must apply before your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa expires.

You can apply after your education provider (such as your university or college) has told the Home Office that you’ve completed the course you took with your Student or Tier 4 (General) student visa. You can immediately graduate or have been given a certificate.

As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide your documents.

Your application may take longer if you need an appointment to do this. You’ll find out if you need one when you start your application.

What you can and cannot do

With a Graduate visa, you can:

  • work in most jobs
  • look for work
  • be self-employed
  • continue living in the UK with your partner and children if they’re eligible
  • do voluntary work
  • travel abroad and return to the UK

You cannot:

  • apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
  • work as a professional sportsperson

If your application is successful, you’ll get a full list of what you can and cannot do with a Graduate visa.

PSW visa eligibility requirements

In order to be eligible for a PSW visa, the student will have to attain 70 points under the points-based immigration system. Points are awarded in respect of successful completion of a qualifying course of study in the UK.

This means applicants must:

  • Hold a valid student visa at the time of their application for a PSW visa from a UK higher education provider on the list of registered sponsors “with a track record of compliance.”
  • Have completed their degree at the undergraduate level or above.
  • They have stayed in the UK for the duration of their study. The only exemptions to this are if the student studied abroad as part of a ‘study abroad’ program or was forced to study from home for reasons relating to Covid-19.
  • I have yet to be granted the PSW visa.
  • Pass security, identity, and criminality checks.
  • Pay the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge.

 Those studying in the UK on a scholarship from the government of their home country have to meet an additional requirement, namely, that their government must have given its permission for them to remain in the UK under a PSW visa.

There is no English language or financial requirement for the PSW visa applicant to meet.

EU nationals 

EEA or Swiss students in the UK with valid EU-settled or pre-settled status will not need to apply for the PSW visa to remain in the UK. Those without permission under the EU settlement scheme may apply for the PSW visa to retain lawful status in the UK.

 Which courses are eligible under the PSW visa?

To be eligible, applicants must have completed a course awarding either:

  • A UK bachelor’s degree.
  • UK postgraduate degree, including PhD and Master’s degree.
  • A Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) conversion course, as validated by the Joint Academic Stage Board in England and Wales.
  • The Legal Practice Course (LPC) in England and Wales, the Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland, or a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland.
  • The Bar Practice Course (BPTC) in England and Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland.
  • A foundation program in Medicine or Dentistry.
  • A postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).
  • A professional course is required to study at the UK bachelor’s degree level or above in a profession with reserved activities that are regulated by UK law or UK public authority.

 The degree course has to be the same as that on the applicant’s Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). In addition, their sponsoring higher education provider must confirm that they meet this requirement.

 Applying for the post-study work visa 

The PSW visa application should be made online from within the UK.

Students can apply for a Graduate visa as soon as their sponsoring institution or college notifies the Home Office that they have finished and passed their program. Students can immediately apply once they have graduated or received a certificate of completion; they should use it while their student visa is still valid.


How long is the UK PSW Visa valid?

The UK PSW Visa is typically valid for two years, providing ample time to explore career opportunities and establish a foundation for long-term success.

Can I switch jobs while on the UK PSW Visa?

Yes, the visa allows flexibility in employment. However, certain conditions and guidelines must be followed. Understanding these nuances is crucial for a smooth career transition.

Is the UK PSW Visa extendable?

Embarking on a career journey in the United Kingdom is an exciting prospect, and the UK PSW Visa stands as a crucial gateway for international students seeking employment opportunities after completing their studies. In this guide, we delve into the intricacies of the UK PSW Visa, providing valuable insights and information to guide you through the application process and beyond.

What is the role of the sponsor in the application process?

A sponsor plays a pivotal role in the UK PSW Visa application process. Whether it’s an employer or an educational institution, understanding their responsibilities is key to a successful application.

Are family members allowed to accompany me on the UK PSW Visa?

Explore the possibilities of bringing your loved ones along on your UK journey. While the UK PSW Visa primarily caters to the visa holder, certain provisions exist for family members to join.

What happens if my application is rejected?

Facing rejection can be disheartening, but understanding the reasons behind it is crucial. Explore the common pitfalls and steps to take if your UK PSW Visa application is not successful.


Embarking on a career journey in the United Kingdom is an exciting prospect, and the UK PSW Visa stands as a crucial gateway for international students seeking employment opportunities after completing their studies. In this guide, we’ve navigated the intricate details, from eligibility criteria to post-study benefits, providing you with a roadmap to success. Seize the opportunity, unlock your potential, and set the stage for a fulfilling career in the UK.

A successful journey under the PSW Visa requires remaining informed and receiving professional help, as regulations and policies are subject to change. Consult with immigration experts, such as UK Spouse Visa, for specialized guidance and assistance. Making the most of your post-study experience in the UK and managing the complexities of UK immigration regulations can be made easier with our help.