Working in the UK after study

If you're an international student and you would like to work in the UK after graduating then please be aware of the immigration rules that apply to you.

There are several different visa categories available to graduating students, and each has their own eligibility requirements and application routes. 

Graduate Visa

The Graduate Visa is a post-study work visa for international students who successfully complete an eligible degree in the UK.  The route opened on the 1 July 2021.  Detailed information on the Graduate visa can be found on our webpage here.

Please also read the UKCISA and UKVI website.

Skilled worker (formerly Tier 2)

After graduating from the University of Leeds, you are entitled to apply in the Skilled Worker category of the Points Based System. This was formerly called the Tier 2 route. You can find up-to-date Skilled Worker route information on the GOV.UK website. We will update this page as soon as possible with more details. You can find information about working after studies on the UKCISA website.

Other work visas

There are other work visas available if you are not eligible for the Graduate or Skilled Worker visa.  Read about other types of work visas that you can apply for within the UK on the UKCISA website.


If you're planning to stay in the UK you must make an immigration application before your current permission expires.

Alternatively, you can make applications in your home country, but carefully check the criteria as there are different requirements when you make an application from outside the UK.  You can read about which work visas are available to apply for from overseas here.

Further information

If, after reading these pages, you still have questions, you can call the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) advice line or seek independent legal advice.

The Careers Centre has a full list of services to assist you in finding employment following your studies. Below are some excellent tips and resources if you are not eligible for the graduate level visas. 

Identify organisations that may be interested in recruiting someone with your unique skills.

Most graduate employers will be happy to accept applications from international students, but some may not be able to sponsor visas for you as they may not be on the Sponsor Register or the jobs they have may not meet minimum salary requirements.

As the sponsor register doesn’t allow to search for jobs in a particular industry or geographical location, you may wish to use the UKTierSponsors website to help you identify companies in your desired sector/industry, their location as well as direct link to their website. Always check the cross-reference the company information with the official Sponsor Register.”