What Is The Post Study Work (PSW) Visa?

The PSW visa was abolished by the UK government in 2012. In September last year, the PSW was renewed and reintroduced as the Graduate Immigration Route. Opening from 1 July 2021. This route is presented as a leading policy to make the UK more attractive to foreign students.

The graduate Immigration route visa also offers opportunities for employers to recruit fresh graduates on a provisional basis without the need to invest in the “employment sponsorship process” (where to hire a non-UK resident, the employer organization requires a sponsorship licence). 

With this, international undergraduate and postgraduate students reaching their degree ends this summer will be able to apply for the PSW visa to reside in the UK for a fixed period (two to three years) after degree completion. Students that have completed their studies earlier than July 2021 are not eligible for this new visa. 

Eligibility Criteria for Graduate Immigration Route (PSW) Visa

The UK government asks for the following requirements from migrants that wish to apply for the Graduate Immigration Route (GIR) visa:

  • The person applying must have already been issued with a Tier 4 Student Visa (General), which should be valid in summer 2021.
  • The student visa should be issued by an education provider along with a “track record of compliance.”
  • The visa needs to be issued to study a degree level course or above, that is Bachelors or Master’s Degree. The government also plans on closing the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) so PhD graduates will also be able to benefit from GIR. 
  • Those who apply for a GIR visa will need to pay the required application fees and Immigration Health Surcharge (HIS) which is now £624 from October 2020. 

Extension of the Post Study Work/Post Graduate Immigration Route Visa 

The PSW/GIR work visa cannot be extended beyond 2 years. Candidates that secure employment after completion of their degree may be able to switch to either of these visas (Skilled Migrant Worker Visa, Tier 2 (General) visa or Global Talent visa).

Bringing Dependants on the PSW/GIR Visa

There is no official confirmation but the home office says that dependants (spouses and children under 18) will not be able to apply together with the main applicant unless they already reside in the UK on a PBS Dependant visa of the main applicant. 

For instance, Tier 4 Student is enrolled in a master’s degree of over nine months, they are allowed to bring dependants with them to the UK under the current rules. Those dependants can stay in the UK with the main applicant as long as they are graduating in summer 2021 or later. 

Immigration Lawyers at Royce Legal Solicitors

Our legal team at Royce legal Solicitors is highly experienced and can aid you with your PSW/GIR visa application once it opens in summer 2021. If you have any further questions on other routes for settlement in the UK, do not hesitate to ask. 


Will My University Have To Sponsor Me So I Can Apply For PSW Visa?

There is no requirement of the sort for the PSW/GIR visa. It is currently a requirement for Doctorate Extension Scheme but is liable to change soon. 

I Am Currently Enrolled In A Bachelor’s/Master’s In The UK, Will I Be Able To Benefit?

All students regardless of when they applied can benefit from this scheme granted they are graduating in the summer of 2021 or later. 

Can EU Citizens Apply For PSW/GIR Visa?

Once free movement ends, EU citizens can apply for a student visa. EU nationals with a valid Tier 4 visa will benefit from the PSW/GIR just like non-EU citizens.

What Are The Charges For GIR Visa?

Applicants are required to pay application fees (the exact amount is yet to be confirmed) along with the IHS amount of £624 per year of visa, so around £1,248 at the least.