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Government announces the return of Post-Study Work (PSW) Visa

11 September 2019 #Immigration #Employment

(PSW) Visa

The Post-Study Work (PSW) visa is set to make a return, after it was dramatically scrapped by Theresa May during her time as a Home Secretary in 2012. In a reversal of the previous government’s strategy, the route is expected to reopen from 2020.

The previous Post-Study Work visa was a popular route for international students on the Tier 4 visa. It allowed them to remain in the UK for 2 years after completing their degree to seek employment. Those who were successful were then able to switch into the Tier 1 (General) (now closed) or the Tier 2 (General) visas, without having to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test. It is unclear whether the Tier 1 (General) route will also reopen.

More details of the revamped PSW visa will emerge in the coming months. The key facts of this visa are likely to be:

  • It will be open to students who have completed an undergraduate degree or above
  • The course must be from a highly trusted institution

This proposal will affect nearly 450,000 international students who are already in the UK and is likely encourage more foreign students to choose the UK as a preferred option. The move has been welcomed by various stakeholders including Universities UK.


The announcement is welcome news for both employers, students and universities in the UK. This will help plug the skills gap which has been growing over the last few years. It will also assist universities in generating revenue and focus on providing local students.

At Clarkslegal LLP we are experienced in assisting students, educational institutes and employers. If you require more information about this change, please contact us on our details below.

Clarkslegal, specialist Immigration lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Immigration matter please contact Clarkslegal's immigration team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Hamza Malik

Hamza Malik

T: 0207 539 8020
M: 07990 595 483


Immigration team
+44 (0)20 7539 8000