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Because of recent changes in work regulations, international students in the UK can now work up to twenty hours a week when studying and full time during vacations. From September 2008, International students can stay back and work for TWO YEARS, after completion of their postgraduate degree.

In Scotland also, one may stay back for TWO YEARS, after completion of their program.

Effective 29th June 2008, the following schemes have been stopped by the British Government.
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP)
  • International Graduate Scheme (IGS)
  • Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland

From 30th June 2008, all international students have to apply for work permits based on the new points system being introduced in 2008-2009. Students who complete their studies come under the ‘Post-Study Worker’ category.

The students who are already in any of the above cancelled categories, will fall either under ‘Highly Skilled Worker - Tier 1 (General) or ‘Tier 1 Post-study Work’

What is the post-study worker category?

The post-study worker category allows UK to retain the most able international graduates who have studied in the United Kingdom. It also enhances the United Kingdom's overall offer to international students.

Post-study workers are free to look for work without having a sponsor for the length of their leave.

The category provides a bridge to highly skilled or skilled work. If you are granted permission to stay as a post-study worker, such applicants/students are expected to switch into another tier of the points-based system as soon as the applicants are able to.

Who can apply as a post-study worker?

One can apply under the post-study worker category now if one is:
  • In the United Kingdom with permission to stay under the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme (SEGS), International Graduates Scheme (IGS) or Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme (FT:WISS);
  • In the United Kingdom as a student, student nurses, students retaking examinations, and students writing up a thesis, and want to switch into the post-study worker category.
  • Full details about the ‘Post-Study Worker’ category may be seen at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/poststudy/
  • In the same section, please remove, from “Work Permits……………… and then go to paragraphs 87A – 87F of the Immigration Rule” (till the end), and add the following content”

“A new points-based system to enable the UK to control migration more effectively, tackle abuse and identify the most talented workers was launched in mid 2008.

UK businesses and universities who will now be required to sponsor migrants and help to ensure that those they sponsor adhere to the terms of their visa. Tier 1 – (General) for Highly Skilled Workers.

(See:http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/pbs/tier1generalguidance310309.pdf)

It has three more sub-tiers, which are: Tier 1 – Investor Tier 1 – Entrepreneur and Tier 1 – Post-study work

(See:http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/pbs/tier1poststudyworkguidance1.pdf)
  • Students who complete their higher education in UK will be allowed to apply for Post-study work under Tier 1.
  • Applicants will not be awarded points for Postgraduate Diplomas or Postgraduate Certificates other than Postgraduate Certificates in Education.
  • Even those who are outside UK presently can apply for post-study work permit within 12 months, in this tier.
  • No need for sponsorship by anyone to stay back and work
  • Applicants should be advised to apply at least 3 to 4 months in advance

    before course completion/expiry of their present visa

  • Tier 2 – Skilled Workers with an offer of Employment Tier 3 - Low-skilled workers Tier 4 – Students (General and child) – Applicable for all international students from 31st March 2009. As per new regulations for applicants to the Tier 1 (General), envisaged to be implemented from 31st March 2009,

  • Skilled professionals from India and other non-EEU countries must have a minimum of Master’s degree (instead of Bachelors degree), and
  • Must have a minimum salary of GBP 20,000 (instead of GBP 17,000)
  • Families of such skilled professionals may be banned from going and settling down in UK.
For more information on ‘Working in the UK’, please click on:http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/