UK happens to be one of the most preferred study abroad destinations with more than 600,000 international students because of various reasons, one of which is the lucrative job opportunities and salary packages that are offered after you complete a program. This might get you thinking whether you are eligible to stay back in UK and look for a job? Well, the answer is a big yes. If you didn’t know this earlier, a tier 4 student visa itself makes you eligible to further apply for a work permit.
Let us see what a 2 year work permit in UK is all about. The 2 year work permit after study in UK was launched by the UK Government on 1 July 2021 as the Graduate Immigration Route. The 2 year work permit in UK after study has been implemented for international students with a degree from an approved UK higher education provider to stay back in UK and look for employment. Read through this guide to know all about the UK 2 year work permit, requirements, eligibility, processing time, cost and a lot more.
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Eligibility Criteria for 2 Year Work Permit UK
Now that you have learned about the graduate route or 2 year work permit in UK, we shall discuss the eligibility criteria which is quite simple, take a look yourself:
- To apply for a UK 2 year work permit is that you must be in the UK at the time of application.
- You must hold a valid tier 4 student visa.
- You can apply for a 2 year work permit UK if you have completed a bachelor’s, master’s or other eligible program in the UK.
- You must have studied in the UK with a tier 4 student visa for a minimum period before applying for a 2 year work permit in UK.
- It is also required that your university or college has informed you about the completion of your course.
How to Apply for a 2 Year Work Permit UK?
You can apply for a 2 year work permit after study in UK online but make sure you do it before your student visa expires. As mentioned above, your education provider must have told you that you have completed your course successfully but this does not mean you have to wait until you graduate or receive a certificate.
Take a look at the steps to apply for a 2 year work permit in UK:
- Check whether you meet the eligibility criteria to apply for work permit in UK.
- The application can be submitted online through the UK Home Office Visas and Immigration Services website while you are in UK and have a valid student visa.
- You will be charged an application fee payable once and a health surcharge which you will have to pay each year.
- Prepare and submit the supporting documents and prove your identity.
How Much Does it Cost to Apply for a 2 Year Work Permit in UK?
To apply for a 2 year work permit UK, you will need to pay an application fee of £700 and a healthcare surcharge of £624 payable every year.
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How Long is the Processing Time for a UK 2 Year Work Permit?
A common question among students applying for a 2 year work permit UK is how long will it take to get a decision? The answer is that once you have completed your application and submitted all supporting documents you can expect to get a decision within 8 weeks.
What you can do with a Graduate Visa?
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Documents Required to Apply for 2 Year Work Permit UK
You are mainly required to provide documents to prove your identity. There is no separate requirement for demonstrating English language proficiency or proof of finances to apply for a 2 year work permit UK. Also, you do not require any sponsorship or endorsement from your universities in UK or employer to apply for the graduate immigration route.
Here are the documents that must be submitted along with the application for work permit in UK:
- A valid passport or any travel document relevant for showing your identity and nationality.
- Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) that you received when you applied for a tier 4 student visa.
- Reference number of your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) provided to you by your education provider at the time of admission with your student visa to study in UK.
- Additionally, you may have to provide an approval letter from your sponsor or scholarship provider, if they paid for your course or living expenses in the last 12 months.
- A proof of relationship will also be applicable if you are applying with your partner or children.
Rules for UK 2 Year Work Permit
Here are some rules that you must keep in mind when applying for a UK 2 year work permit:
- A work permit after study is only valid for 2 years or maximum 3 years i.e. if you have a PhD or other doctoral degree.
- You can get a 2 year work permit after study in UK only once. There is no scope of extension.
- There are some categories of work such as working as a coach or professional sportsperson that require a separate type of visa. Therefore, you are not eligible to work in such types of jobs.
- You cannot apply for public funds or state pension schemes.
- It is to be noted that a work permit in UK will not count towards settlement rights in any manner.
When the 2 year work permit in UK is about to expire, you can go ahead and apply for the suitable type of work permit. While most international students will require a skilled worker visa. Depending on your type of work, you can apply for a health and care worker visa, intra company visa, minister of religion visa or international sportsperson visa. UK boasts of having high employment rates and also provides promising career opportunities in UK to international students which is why students consider staying back in UK after completing their studies.
Frequently Asked Questions about 2 Year Work Permit in UK
Ques. Are all international students eligible for a 2 year work permit after study in UK?
Ans. Yes, all international students who have a valid tier 4 student visa, have successfully completed the course and fulfill the eligibility criteria can apply for a 2 year work permit after study in UK.
Ques. What can I do if I want to stay longer in the UK?
Ans. The 2 year work permit UK is not extendable. If you wish to stay in the UK for longer, you can apply for a different visa such as the skilled worker visa.
Ques. How much does a 2 year work permit UK cost Indian students?
Ans. The application fee for a 2 year work permit in UK is £700 i.e. around 58,450 INR. You will annually pay a health surcharge of £624 i.e. around 52,100 INR.
Ques. Can I apply for a work permit in UK after getting the Doctorate Extension Scheme?
Ans. No, you are not eligible to apply for a work permit in UK after getting the Doctorate Extension Scheme.
Ques. Are international students allowed to be self-employed with a work permit in UK?
Ans. Yes, international students are allowed to be self-employed with a work permit in UK. You cannot work as a professional sportsperson.