This section gives you an overview of your rights to work in the UK after your studies. If you are a student from the European Economic Area these pages do not apply to you.
You can continue to work for a maximum of 4 months or until the end of your student visa, whichever comes soonest. You must still comply with your student conditions. You must not take a permanent role unless alternative immigration status has been obtained. You are allowed to work unlimited hours once you are considered to have completed your course but not in a graduate level role.
There are different definitions for when you are considered to have completed your course depending on your level of study.
Undergraduates – expiry of U card
Taught postgraduates – when you have completed all exams and submitted dissertation
Research postgraduates – when you have been awarded your degree
The answer is almost certainly yes. However, if you have a relationship either with another Tier 4 student or a British citizen you may be able to stay on the basis of the relationship and will have rights to work. You should book an appointment to speak to the International Student Adviser if this applies. Or you may have been living in the UK continuously for the last 10 years in which case you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
If you have a job offer from a Tier 2 sponsor you will be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 visa.
If you are a PhD student you may be able to apply for a 12 month work visa under the Doctorate Extension Scheme. This will allow you to work and set up in business without needing a sponsor.
If you want to stay in the UK for self employment you will need to qualify under the Graduate Entrepreneur route.
If you want to do a short work placement after your studies of up to 12 months you may be able to apply under Tier 5. The employer will not need to sponsor you directly.
We have produced a Guide for Employers which you can use to help to explain your rights to work in the UK.