Working in the UK after study

Which visa is right for me?

The Graduate and Skilled Worker visas are the most common ways in which students choose to pursue employment and life in the UK following their studies, but it’s important that you consider which one is going to be the most convenient to you and your career. 

Consider your plans after graduating.

  • Do you want to have the option to gain experience and try out different sectors by working in several jobs with a range of employers, or even being self-employed?
  • The two-year (or three-year if you have a PHD or other doctoral qualification) Graduate Visa is a great option if you’re not sure what industry you want to work in yet as it gives you time to explore without the pressure of finding an employer who will sponsor a Skilled Worker Visa.

Alternatively, do you want the security of a longer visa, such as the Skilled Worked visa, which can last up to 5 years?

The employer that you wish to work for could also have an impact on the type of visa that you end up with.

The Graduate Visa is relatively new and unfamiliar for some employers, and an employer who is looking to invest in their staff over a longer period, such as through a structured graduate scheme, may prefer the longer time period covered by the Skilled Worker Visa.

Employers’ preferences can differ for several reasons however, and you will need to speak to each employer individually about visas in order to understand their approach.

For an insight into the differences between the Graduate and Skilled Worker visas, as well as insight into the employer perspective and making an informed decision, see our International Students: Working in the UK and Understanding your Visa Options Pathway via CareerConnect.

Please use the UKCISA and the UK Visas and Immigration websites for a full list and detailed explanation of the visa options and requirements and guidance on applying.

Other visa options

  • Visas Including Global Talent and Tier 1 Investor visa.

Temporary worker visas


Immigration queries and legal advice

We can provide basic information and signposting to visa options to work in the UK after study, but we are not legally authorised to give guidance on visas or support with visa applications.

If you have an enquiry or issue concerning your student visa please contact the University's Student Immigration Team.

If you need specialist advice on visas you can search for an immigration solicitor by location and legal issue you need help with on the Law Society’s website.

Immigration advice appointments via zoom

If you have an issue concerning your immigration status, appointments are available with Latitude Law, a specialist immigration law firm based in Manchester.

Consultations are available to all UoM students and graduates who are experiencing immigration concerns, or who need advice with future immigration applications. These sessions are held via Zoom.

Please note that if your enquiry relates to your Student visa, you should contact the University's Student Immigration Team instead.

  • Appointments with Latitude Law are 30 minutes and are free.
  • You will need to pre-book your appointment with Latitude Law and can do so by e-mailing with the following information:
    • Your name
    • Your telephone number
    • The expiry date of your current status
    • You level of study (eg undergraduate degree) and when your course is expected to complete
    • A brief summary of what you would like to discuss (eg “I am graduating this year and intend to marry my British partner and remain in the UK”.
Latitude Law's full privacy and data policy is available online.
If you need further help the solicitor will be able to discuss fees for ongoing services.
If you need to speak with a solicitor urgently, you can contact Latitude Law on 0161 234 6800.
The University of Manchester is not responsible for the legal advice provided by the law firm Latitude Law Limited, nor does it endorse or recommend any of its services or legal advice. Any student who uses the services of Latitude Law Limited does so at their own risk. There are other law firms in Manchester that offer similar immigration services to Latitude Law Limited, such firms can be found on the Law Society’s website.