Will I Secure a PSW Work Permit (Post Study Work Visa)

An important step for international students pursuing higher education in the United Kingdom is to apply for PSW UK. The Post-graduation Visa UK permits you to stay and work in the UK for an extended period, offering great chances for career growth and professional development. Understanding the application procedure for the PSW Work Permit is vital for making an easy transition from undergraduate to professional life in the UK. In this blog, we’ll explain the PSW Work Permit in-depth and emphasise the need to be familiar with the application procedure.

Understanding the PSW Work Permit

The PSW visa, short for Post-Study Work visa, is formally called the Graduate Route in the UK. Through this pathway, international graduates can seek a PSW visa to extend their stay in the UK for a specific duration of two or three years following the conclusion of their degree programme, depending on their academic level.

Graduates staying in the UK on a PSW visa don’t need sponsorship from an educational institution or employer and don’t require a Certificate of Sponsorship. Upon switching to a PSW visa, graduates are no longer sponsored by their academic institution as students. Additionally, individuals on the PSW visa cannot work as professional sportspersons. Although they can pursue additional studies in the UK, they can’t enrol at institutions that sponsor students for Tier 4 General student visas.

Family members currently residing lawfully in the UK as dependents of a student visa holder will be permitted to remain even when the primary visa holder changes to the PSW visa. However, except for children born in the UK, new dependents cannot follow the PSW visa holder to the UK from abroad. It is crucial to remember that the PSW visa cannot be extended, and time spent in the UK under the Graduate Immigration Route does not count towards eligibility for settlement in this country.

Eligibility requirements for getting a PSW Work Permit

You must check your eligibility for PSW in the UK before applying for one. Requirements to be met usually include:

  • ● You are required to have a degree or qualification from a recognised UK university.
  • ● Study duration is also important, with courses often lasting at least a year or more.
  • ● Throughout your study period, you must follow UK visa rules and regulations.
  • ● You should have had Tier 4 (General) student visa status during your studies.
  • ● After finishing the course, you must apply for a post-study work visa in the UK within a certain period, usually a few months.
  • ● You may be required to show sufficient funds to sustain yourself in the UK.

Benefits of obtaining a PSW Work Permit

1. 2-year post-study work visa

The 2-year post-study work visa allows international students completing undergraduate or postgraduate programmes in the UK to pursue employment for up to two years following graduation. Students can work in any position without a minimum income or employment sponsorship at this time. The Graduate Route offers international students a great chance to access the UK job market.

2. PhD students’ 3-year post-study visa extension

PhD students with advanced skills in the UK can now extend their post-study visa for three years, because of the UK Government’s Global Talent Drive. This makes job opportunities in the UK more appealing for PhD graduates. These updates aim to offer better work choices for highly skilled individuals and draw more talent to the country, boosting its STEM sector and research endeavours.

3. Extended Stay for Postgraduate Students in the UK

The duration limit on postgraduate student studies will be dismissed by the UK government. Additionally, they wish to allow students to arrive in the UK up to six months ahead of time for their degree.

4. Dependent Work Rights

he post-graduate work visa in the UK allows family members of international postgraduate students to work in the UK almost as freely as UK citizens.

5. Advantages for STEM Graduates

Beginning in January 2021, the new immigration system uses points to assess skills, qualifications, job roles, salaries, and age. This system aims to quickly grant residency to highly skilled professionals and STEM graduates.

6. Easy Job Opportunities in Shortage Occupations

Under the new immigration system, jobs listed on the Shortage Occupation List will earn an extra 20 points. International students pursuing degrees in professions facing shortages will have a smoother path to residency.

PSW work permit application process

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a PSW work visa in the UK:

  • ● Check that you fulfill the eligibility conditions for PSW in the UK, which include earning a qualifying degree and following visa regulations.
  • ● Collect all required documents, including university transcripts, passports, visa documents, and proof of financial ability.
  • ● Go to the UK government’s official website and fill out the application form.
  • ● Pay the application fee online, as instructed by the UK immigration officials.
  • ● Book and attend a biometric session to submit your fingerprints and digital images.
  • ● After completing the application and conducting the biometric verification, you must wait for an answer on your PSW Work Permit application.

Required documents to apply for PSW UK

Here are the required documents to apply for PSW UK:

  • ● Copies of your university transcripts to confirm the completion of a qualified degree from a recognised UK university.
  • ● A passport that meets the minimum duration requirements set by UK immigration laws.
  • ● Copies of any previous visa documents, including your Tier 4 (General) student visa status (if applicable).
  • ● Proof of funds to show your ability to support yourself throughout your stay in the UK.

Common challenges and how to overcome them

Oftentimes, international students encounter common challenges when striving to apply for a PSW visa in the UK. Here are some common challenges and how to overcome them:

  • ● Ensure that all essential papers are correct and up-to-date to avoid delays or rejection of the application.
  • ● Show enough financial proof to avoid UK visa restrictions.
  • ● To prevent processing delays, schedule your biometric appointment as soon as you apply.
  • ● Stay updated on any changes to UK immigration regulations or processes that may hinder your application.

Costs associated with the PSW work permit

The UK PSW visa requires a new visa application, which can only be done from inside the UK. The costs of a post-study work visa in the UK include:

£822 for the application itself (which totals to £1,644 for 2 years and £2,466 for 3 years).

£1,035 per year for the Health surcharge (which amounts to £2,070 for 2 years and £3,105 for 3 years). The post-graduate work visa in the UK is designed to retain talented international students in the country after they finish their studies, allowing them to contribute to society and the economy. This falls under the points-based immigration system.

Advantages of choosing London for post-study work opportunities

London, the vibrant capital of the United Kingdom, holds immense appeal for international students seeking post-study work opportunities. Let’s explore the advantages of choosing London as your destination for launching your career after graduation.

1. Diverse Job Market

London is a rich city that offers chances in banking, technology, healthcare, and creative areas.

2. Networking opportunity

London’s global centre offers numerous opportunities to engage with people from all around the world, enhancing your career prospects.

3. Access to Top Companies

Many global organisations and prominent companies have headquarters or main offices in London, providing graduates with outstanding work prospects.

4. Cultural Diversity

London’s multicultural atmosphere promotes inclusion and exposure to diverse cultures, ideas, and viewpoints, improving global outlook and adaptability.

5. World-Class Education

London’s best universities and institutes offer high-quality education that improves employability and skills.

6. Convenient transportation

London’s big public transit network, including the renowned London Underground, makes it easy to learn about the city and attend job interviews and networking events.

7. Cultural and social environment

London’s cultural and social environment includes galleries, museums, cinemas, restaurants, and nightlife places, providing an active and enriching lifestyle away from work.

Overall, London’s post-study work visa offers not only great job opportunities but also an interesting and dynamic experience that promotes personal and professional development.


International students who apply for a PSW UK (Post Study Work Visa) gain access to a world of possibilities in the United Kingdom. With the Graduate Route offering extensions of up to three years for PhD students and various benefits like extended stays, dependent work rights, and streamlined immigration processes, the UK remains an attractive destination for higher education and professional growth.

While the application process may have its challenges, careful preparation, adherence to requirements, and staying informed about updates in immigration regulations can help you navigate it smoothly.


Is the university from which I graduated significant for the PSW visa?

Generally, graduates from any UK university are eligible for the post-study work visa, as long as the British government recognises the university as a ‘licenced sponsor’.

However, if a university does not uphold its “proven track record” in terms of immigration and visa inspections, it may be removed from this list. As a result, if you are now studying or want to study in the United Kingdom, you should check to see if your university is on this list.

No, the post-study work visa is open to graduates from all academic disciplines.

In 2019, the UK government made it easier for students finishing advanced degrees, like Master’s or PhDs, in STEM fields (Technology, Mathematics, Engineering, and Science) to obtain visas. This extension now encompasses graduates from any discipline from accredited higher education institutions as of 2020.

However, it’s essential to complete a full degree programme to qualify. The revised visa regulations do not apply to individuals undertaking short courses, English language training programmes, A-Levels, or the Baccalaureate.

What happens when the post-study work visa expires?

Upon expiration of the post-study work visa, individuals desiring to prolong their stay in the UK must seek to transition to a ‘general work visa’ (or ‘skilled work visa’). To qualify for this, the job you secure must align with the visa requirements for a Tier 2 visa, known as the ‘general work visa’.

What are the fees for the UK post-study work visa?

The fees for the UK post-study work visa include;

£822 for each applicant for the application (a total of £1,644 for 2 years and £2,466 for 3 years).

Each applicant pays £1,035 for the Health Charge each year (£2,070 for two years and £3,105 for three).

When should you submit your application for the UK post-study work visa?

You should apply before your student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa expires. You can apply once your educational institution has informed the Home Office that you’ve completed your course under your student or Tier 4 (General) student visa. You need not wait until your graduation or the issuance of a certificate to apply.