Post Study Work Visa

Post Study Work Visa Overview

The Post-Study Work sub-category replaced the International Graduates Scheme and the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme in 2008. The purpose of the Post Study Work visa (also called the PSW visa) is to allow graduate students the opportunity to take a period of employment in the United Kingdom after the conclusion of their studies for a period of up to 2 years. This visa is not renewable and can only be obtained once. However; it provides an excellent opportunity for graduates to move gradually into one of the other Tier 1 visas and one of the main benefits of the PSW visa is that it does not require a sponsor. Regretfully though, time spent under the Post-Study Work sub-category does not count towards permanent residence. It is part of the Points Based System of UK Immigration and as such applicants are accepted only if they qualify for the required points. The required points are:


To qualify under the post study work visa requirements a migrant needs to have obtained either:

  • a UK recognized bachelor’s degree; or
  • a UK recognized postgraduate degree; or
  • a UK postgraduate certificate or diploma; or
  • an HND from a Scottish institution
20 points
The qualification must have been obtained from a UK institution that is either:

  • a recognized or listed UK body; or
  • on the Tier 4 sponsors register; or
  • a publicly funded institution of higher education or a bonafide Scottish private education institution which maintains records of enrolment and attendance
20 points
Obtained the qualification while in the UK as:

  • a student Tier 4; or
  • As a dependant of someone with valid leave in an immigration category permitting dependants in the UK
20 points
The application must be submitted within the last 12 months of obtaining the qualification 15 points
Total required points 75 points

Knowledge of English Language

The English language requirement is waived for Post-Study Work applicants because it is assumed English language profficiency was requried to obtained the eligible qualification. Consequently there is no separate requirement to establish the applicants knowledge of English

Maintenance Test

In addition to the criteria listed above Post Study Work visa applicants from outside the country are required to score ten points by proving they can support themselves and any dependents. The required level of financial support for applicants from outside the UK is set out below:

Start up costs Funds Total
£400 £2,400 £2,800
2/3 of the £2,400 is required for first dependent of the main applicant, and 1/3 for each subsequent dependant. Thereforethe threshold is incresed where there is more than one dependant.


Generally most Post Study Work visa migrants switch from the Student or Tier 4 category of visas from within the UK, in which case the Maintenance test only requires the migrant to show they have £800 in Funds plus additional funds for dependants.

We can assist prospective applicants at every stage of the application process and we offer a free 30 minute telephone consultation on 020 8401 7352

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