Skip to main content

Post-study work visa

Post-study work visa: key information

The UK Government has announced the introduction of a Graduate Work visa for international students who will finish studying in 2021.

This visa will allow students to remain in the UK and work for two years after they complete their studies at Birkbeck.

All new students starting in October 2020 will be eligible to apply.

The full details of the visa are yet to be published, but we understand that:

  • all individuals studying a Bachelor’s degree or above and who successfully complete their studies from summer 2021 onwards will be eligible to apply
  • students will not be automatically granted the visa: a separate immigration application will need to be made which will include paying the visa fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge
  • students will need to have a current, valid Tier 4 visa to apply
  • the visa will allow students to work full-time in any job, excluding self-employment
  • it will not be possible to extend the Graduate visa: students will be expected to switch to a different immigration category, or leave the UK
  • settlement rights will not be accrued towards UK residency.


  • I will graduate in 2020 – can I apply for this visa?

No. Only students who successfully complete their studies after May 2021 will be eligible.

  • What month is ‘summer 2021’?

The UK Government has confirmed that this will be defined at any time from May 2021 onwards.

  • Do I have to be studying a specific course to be eligible?

No. All students who have a Birkbeck sponsored Tier 4 visa will be eligible to apply.

  • Will I have to leave the UK to apply?

If you have a valid Tier 4 visa, you will be able to apply from inside the UK.

  • Can you provide more information on this visa?

The UK Government has not yet published the full details of the Graduate Work visa. Once this is available we will update this web page.

  • Will PhD students still be able to apply for the Doctorate Extension Scheme?

No. We understand that the Graduate visa will replace the Doctorate Extension Scheme.