Working in the UK after your studies
If you wish to stay in the UK to work after finishing your studies at UCL, unless you are an EEA or Swiss national, you will need to apply for a visa permission to do so. There are a number of different routes which may be available to you but you will need to read the information below to see if you qualify and which is the most appropriate for you.
Tier 4 Doctorate Extension scheme
From 6 April 2013, if you are completing a PhD or other doctorate level qualification at UCL, you will be able to apply to stay in the UK on a Tier 4 visa for 12 months after completing the qualification. This scheme is designed to allow full-time Tier 4 research students a longer period to gain practical work experience in their field.
You need to meet certain conditions to qualify.
In order to qualify for the Doctorate Extension scheme you are required to meet the following requirements:
- you need to already have current Tier 4 leave of study for a research degree programme leading to a PhD or other doctorate level qualification at UCL
- you can only apply within the UK and if you have an existing Tier 4 leave, you are not eligible for this scheme if you are in the UK under any other immigration category (including Student Visitor)
- you need to be studying for a UCL award, you are not eligible if you are studying for a University of London award
- you have not yet completed your PhD or other doctorate level qualification at UCL
You should adhere to the
normal Tier 4 limits on work until you have successfully received leave to
remain under the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension scheme AND you have been awarded
your degree. At that point, you will no longer be subject to any work
restrictions (other than work as a doctor or dentist in training or professional
sportsperson or coach).
You will need a new CAS number issued by UCL in support of your application. To obtain this, you will need to complete the CAS Doctorate Extension form available on the Current Students webpage.
You need to ensure you meet the following conditions before submitting the CAS Doctorate Extension form:
- you have reached the viva stage of your research programme
- you have agreed an expected award date with your research supervisor
|The earliest that you can apply for your Doctorate Extension is 60 days before your expected award date.|
More information on the scheme and details on how to apply are available from the UK Border Agency website.
Tier 2 (General) route
From 6th April 2012, if you are a recent graduate with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, PhD, or a PGCE or PGDE, you may be able to apply under the new provision of the Tier 2 (General) route. You need to meet certain conditions to qualify.
In order to qualify for the Tier 2 (General) route you need to be in the UK with a current student visa and have a job offer from an employer who holds a Tier 2 Sponsor License with a salary of at least £20,300, or the minimum appropriate rate set out in the relevant Code of Practice, whichever is the higher.
If you are a PhD student you can switch into this route from Tier 4 if you have completed at least 12 months of study. All other students must have completed their studies and have been awarded their qualification.
Full information about switching to Tier 2 (General) and the other immigration routes available to you at the end of your studies can be found in the Working in the UK section of the UK Border Agency website, which also outlines the requirements that will have to be met.
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route
UCL has been
endorsed by the UK Border Agency to take part in the new Tier 1 (Graduate
Entrepreneur) route available from 6 April 2012. This route is for you, if you have
completed a degree programme at UCL and have been identified by UCL as
having developed genuine and credible business ideas and entrepreneurial skills which
you now wish to use to establish one or more businesses in the UK.
For the purpose of the Immigration Rules ‘business’ means an enterprise as a:
- sole trader
- partnership or
- company registered in the UK.
UCL will be able to endorse up to ten applicants on this route in one year. If your application is successful, you will be granted an initial leave of 12 months which then can be extended to a total of 24 months if UCL is satisfied with your progress. You will be allowed to take employment for up to 20 hours a week in addition to the time spent developing your business. At the end of the second year you will need to have funds of £50,000 if you wish to switch to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category.
If you wish to apply for this route, you are asked to read carefully the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) guidance on the UK Border Agency website.
The Business Advisers at UCL Advances will be responsible for assessing if you have a viable business plan and make a decision if you qualify to be endorsed by UCL under this immigration route. You can find further information and contact details on their Business Advice webpage.
You can find further guidance on the visa routes available to you at the end of your studies on the Working in the UK section of the UK Border Agency website and on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Working in the UK after your studies website.
Page last modified on 08 apr 13 14:55