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Long Residency

Highly Skilled Migrants Programme

Sports People and Entertainers Work Permits

Domestic Workers

EEA Nationals
and their Families

Family Members - Civil Partners

Graduate Employment Schemes

Medical Training Initiatives


Retired Person of Independent Means


UK Ancestry

Working Holiday
Maker Visa



Graduate Employment Schemes

Staying on at work after your degree:

A variety of arrangements now exist to permit those who graduate from degree courses, or post-graduate studies, to stay on to work in the UK, either in a temporary category or for the longer term.

There are also schemes for Working Holiday Makers, Students, and Training and Work Experience permits.

Overseas students graduating from UK universities or institutions with degrees are eligible to 'switch' to work permit employment without needing to leave the UK. This covers any type of job for which a permit can be granted, and the usual rules on work permits will apply.

There are also special arrangements for student nurses, midwives, and postgraduate doctors and dentists to stay on to take employment with a work permit in these professions without needing to apply from abroad for a visa.

Depending on the type of studies, it may be possible for overseas students to be issued with TWES permits, for a period of professional training or work experience before returning to their countries. In addition to these arrangements, some students can stay on to look for work without a work or trainee permit. Two schemes operate, one for Scotland and the other for the rest of the UK.

In Scotland, the Fresh Talent-Working in Scotland Scheme is intended to permit any student who has successfully completed a degree course, and HND or post graduate studies in any subject at a Scottish institution to be granted two years extension of stay. This is a temporary scheme, and cannot be extended, but an applicant can, after the two years, apply to switch to stay here for employment with a work permit, or on the strength of a business here, or as a highly skilled migrant. An applicant needs to have lived in Scotland for at least part of the time of the studies, and must intend to take up work in Scotland.

The scheme for the rest of the UK is known as the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme (or SEGS), and was at first restricted to those who gained undergraduate degrees in a range of subjects covering science, engineering and mathematics, included on a list published by the government. The name is now slightly misleading, because the scheme also covers anyone who obtains a Masters degree or PhD in any subject. In each case applicants will be given a period of 12 months to stay, whether or not they have a job available to them. After one year applicants will be expected to leave, unless they have an offer of a job on a work permit, are in a suitable business, or can qualify as highly skilled migrants.

In both of these schemes applicants must show that they can support themselves without reliance on social security benefits. Applications must be made within 12 months of completing the studies, and permission will be given to take any work or to set up in business. Spouses (or registered civil partners) and children are able to stay.



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