If you want to work in the UK after your studies, you’ll need to apply for a visa to do so. There are a number of different routes available.
The list of available options below is not exhaustive, but these are the routes that students most commonly opt for/enquire about.
Graduate Visa (also known as the PSW visa)
The Graduate visa also commonly known as the Post-Study Work Visa (PSW) is an unsponsored visa route, which means you do not need to have secured a job or found a sponsor (employer) before you apply.
The Graduate visa is one of the most popular options for Royal Holloway students after they finish their studies with us and we help hundreds of students every year transition over to this immigration route.
You can read our detailed guidance here
The Innovator Founder visa
The Innovator Founder visa is for graduates who wish to start their own business in the UK.
Your business idea must be
- new - you cannot join a business that is already trading
- innovative - you must have an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market
- viable, with potential for growth
- scalable - you must give evidence of planning that includes creating jobs and growing into national and international markets
Before applying for the visa, you must gain an endorsement from 1 of the 3 endoring bodies recognised by the UK government.
Innovator visas are granted for an initial 3 year period and can be extended providing that the you receive further endorsement from a recognised body (see above).
The Innovator visa is a fast track to settlement meaning that you are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after having spent 3 years in the UK on this visa (see below).
While holding this visa you are permitted to
- set up a business or several businesses
- work for your business
- carry out other employment outside your business
- bring your depedents
The Skilled Worker visa
The Skilled Worker visa is the most common form of immigration permission held by those who wish to seek full-time permanent employment in the UK.
The Skilled Worker Visa is part of the UK’s 'Points Based Immigration System'. To be granted the visa your must be awarded 70 points
- 20 points – have a job offer from an approved sponsor
- 20 points – the offer must be for a suitable job
- 10 points – speak English at the required level
Total 50 points
The final 20 points need to be obtained from any of or a combination of the following categories:
- 10 or 20 points – For finding a job with an appropriate annual salary. The level of salary you are required to reach depends upon the job in question whether it is on the shortage occupation list and whether you are classed as a 'new entrant' at the point of application
- 20 points – a PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job
- 10 points – any other PhD in a subject relevant to the job.
The Global Talent visa
The Global Talent visa is for graduates who are internationally recognised or likely to become world leaders in arts and culture, humanities and social sciences, natural sciences and medical science research, engineering or digital technology.
Most applicants must receive an endorsement from a designated body. The endorsing body you need to approach will depend upon which field you are planning to work in.
If you are the holder of one of the prizes listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes then you will not need an endorsement prior to making your visa application.