Are you a student with dreams of pursuing education in the UK? Exciting news awaits. Upon successful course completion, you have the opportunity to apply for a post-study visa in the UK, commonly known as a graduate visa UK, granting a minimum two-year stay. 

Additionally, for those completing undergraduate or master’s degrees, a UK graduate work visa not only extends your stay but also offers the chance to work and gain valuable experience in the country. Don’t delay – start planning your UK education journey today and uncover the numerous opportunities awaiting your academic and professional growth.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a graduate visa UK, you must meet the following criteria:

Current Tier 4/Student Visa:

Possess a valid Tier 4/Student visa. It’s important to note that not all courses at Cambridge are eligible for student visa sponsorship.

Degree Completion at Cambridge:

Have completed a Bachelors, Masters, PGCE, or PhD at Cambridge. Non-degree awarding qualifications, excluding PGCE, are not considered eligible.

Successful Degree Completion:

Complete your degree successfully, confirmed by receiving final results and updating your academic record. For PhD students, completion is determined by unconditional approval, usually upon the submission of the thesis.

Assessment Completion within CAS End Date:

Ensure that all required assessments are completed within the original CAS end date. Masters students with outstanding assessments should consult the International Student Office to clarify their eligibility for the Graduate visa.

Application within Current Visa Validity:

Apply within the UK while your current Tier 4/Student visa is still valid. This should be done following the confirmation from the International Student Office regarding the successful completion of your course. Be aware of potential delays due to assessment boycotts, as outlined in the information for students.

Meeting these detailed requirements is essential for a successful application for the post study visa UK after completing your studies at Cambridge.

Minimum Study Period on Tier 4/Student Visa:

Students must have studied for a particular period on a Tier 4/Student visa. The minimum duration is 12 months or the full length of your course, whichever is shorter. Study abroad activities and time spent overseas during official breaks can also contribute to the minimum study period.

Financial Sponsorship Consent:

If financially sponsored by a Government or international scholarship agency in the 12 months before the application, provide a letter of consent from the sponsor organization supporting your application.

When Can Students Apply?

Your application for the Graduate route should align with the University’s notification to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) confirming your degree completion. This notification occurs after you receive the final results and your University record confirms completion. Keep in mind that the record update may take several weeks after receiving results, and the International Student Office will inform you of the report to UKVI. Wait for this confirmation before submitting your Graduate visa application.

Apply within the UK while your current Tier 4/Student visa is valid. Avoid overseas travel until you receive the application outcome and your new BRP, if applicable.

If your visa expires post-application to the Graduate route, you are permitted to stay in the UK under the conditions of your Tier 4/Student permission until the Graduate visa application outcome is received.

How Much Does it Cost?

The application fee for the graduate visa is around £715. Additionally, you are required to pay the full amount for the Immigration Health Surcharge, amounting to £624 annually. While this incurs a substantial cost, it grants you comprehensive access to the UK’s National Health Service, equivalent to that of a UK permanent resident.

Moreover, if you have dependents relying on you for financial support, they must also cover the processing fee and Immigration Health Surcharge. It is important to note that you cannot add new dependents; only those who entered the UK under your current student visa are eligible.

How Long You Can Stay?

Upon getting done with your studies, you may be eligible for a graduate visa UK. It can enable you to remain in the country for a designated period. Generally lasting for 2 years, this Graduate visa extends to 3 years for holders of a PhD or other doctoral qualification. It is essential to note that the visa period commences from the approval date of your application. This emphasizes the importance of planning your arrangements accordingly.

For further information, review the details available on the UKVI. Note that immigration rules and policies may undergo changes. While these pages are updated promptly following any revisions, it is advisable to check the Home Office website for the latest information. The International Student Office can offer information and guidance solely on current policy.


The prospect of a post-study visa in the UK opens doors to endless possibilities for international students. Beyond the academic achievements, it paves the way for valuable work experience and personal growth. As you consider the enriching journey of studying in the UK, the post-study visa serves as a bridge to a promising future. 

Remember, at every step, resources like StudyWise and diligent exploration of UKVI guidelines can provide the essential support needed for a successful and fulfilling educational endeavor in the United Kingdom. Embrace the opportunities, seize the moment, and embark on a transformative adventure that extends well beyond the classroom. The UK, with its rich history, diverse culture, and vibrant professional landscape, awaits the contributions and aspirations of the global student community.

Once you have set your sights on turning your dreams into reality in the United Kingdom, know that StudyWise is your unwavering ally every step of the way. Our team of expert student counselors not only offers genuine advice but is also here to assist you in dealing with all the intricacies of your visa application. Connect with us today, and let’s begin this exciting journey together.


How long is the typical duration of a post-study visa?

Generally, a post-study visa is valid for two years. However, if you hold a PhD or another doctoral qualification, it can extend to three years.

When does the post-study visa period start?

The post-study visa period begins from the approval date of your application. It’s important to plan your arrangements accordingly.

Can you travel overseas during the post-study visa period?

If your visa expires after applying for the post-study route, you are permitted to remain in the UK under the conditions of your Tier 4/Student permission until the outcome is received.

When are students eligible to apply for a graduate visa UK?

You can submit your post-study visa application once the University reports your successful degree completion to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). This notification usually occurs after you receive your final results.