LS Legal News Bulletin
Visa Options for Tier 4 Students after Completing Studies
Tuesday 20th February 2018
Many students on Tier 4 visas who are finishing their studies are considering their options to remain in the UK after graduating. In 2012 the Home Office abolished the category known as the Post Study Work visa and recent graduates are now required either to extend their student visas or obtain a visa in a different immigration category. We have summarised below the main suitable categories for students to switch after their graduation.
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
To switch into this type of visa, you will need to have access to £50,000 to be ready to invest into setting up a UK business. Your business idea should be preliminary approved by a UK Higher Education Institution or the Department for International Trade. In addition, there are few other requirements to be satisfied.
If the visa is granted, you can remain in the UK to implement your business idea, set up and run your business in the UK. You can be in this visa category for up to two years, after which you will be asked to switch into Tier 1 Entrepreneur. You may also be able to switch into Tier 2 General from inside the UK if you receive a job offer from a company which is a licenced sponsor. In these circumstances, a Tier 2 Sponsor will not be required to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test and advertise the position for 28 days before they can hire you.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur
If you are considering this type of visa, you will need to have access to £200,000 to be ready to invest into setting up or taking-over one or more UK businesses. You will have to satisfy a number of requirements, including showing that you have the experience and expertise required to set up the business. Having a genuine business idea is very important as this will be carefully assessed. If the visa is granted, you can remain in the UK to work for the business that you have set up or taken over, however, you will not be allowed to work for any other company. You will be asked to make an application outside the UK for this type of visa.
We cooperate with many partners who may assist you with writing a business plan and setting up a company or purchasing a franchise.
Tier 1 Investor
To switch into investor visa, you will be required to make an investment of a minimum of £2 million pounds into UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies (other than those principally engaged in property investment). There are a number of requirements that you will have to satisfy but if granted, you will be allowed to reside in the UK and to work in most professions.
Tier 2 General
This is the main immigration route to work in the UK. The visa is linked to a specific job and employer who is recognised as a licensed sponsor by the Home Office. You will need to receive a job offer from an employer who has or may apply for a Sponsor Licence and is willing to provide you with full-time permanent or temporary work for specific position that is either high-skilled or in shortage occupation. A Tier 2 Sponsor will not be required to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test and advertise the position for 28 days before they can hire you if you are switching from inside the UK.
Tier 4 Student
If you wish to continue studying for another course of the higher qualification level, you may extend your Tier 4 visa from inside the UK. If you are doing a different course or applying for a course with a lower qualification level, you will be asked to make an application from outside the UK. You have to be aware there are time limits for which students are allowed to be in the UK on a Tier 4 visa and they vary depending on the degree level with overall maximum of s allowed for a student to be on Tier 4 visa.
For students who have nearly completed their PhD and want to remain in the UK for a further 12 months to work, look for work or set up a business, a Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme may be a good option to consider. You will only be allowed to switch into this visa from inside the UK. Time spent on a Doctorate Extension Scheme does not count towards an 8-year study cap.
Tier 5 visa
If you are considering to do an internship, a Tier 5 licenced sponsor may employ you to get trained at their company. This is usually a one or two-year work experience scheme. One of the most popular routes is Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange programme. You may apply for this visa from inside the UK and only when you have completed a UK bachelor's or master's degree.
If you are in relationships with your partner or has already married your spouse, you may be able to apply for either a spouse or dependency visa under the English law or Residence Card under the EU law depending on the nationality of your partner or spouse.
How can we help?
LS Legal Solicitors has wealth of experience in advising students on their various immigration matters. We have successfully assisted students to extend their visas or switch into different categories. If you have any queries, please contact our firm on 020 81 44 55 88, via email on info@LSLegaLUK.com or use the contact box to discuss your matter or make an appointment.