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man and woman walking past red telephone boxes in England; image used for HSBC international services study abroad article Staying in the UK with a post-study work visa.

Staying in the UK with a post-study visa

Good news for international students studying in the UK. The UK government is reinstating the popular post-study work (PSW) visa in autumn 2020. This will allow students to remain in the country for up to two years after graduation.

Students love the UK, especially the work-life balance

UK Immigration statistics show that there were over 30,000 students from India alone studying in the UK in 2019 – representing a whopping 60% year-on-year increase1.  When the visa was abolished in 2011, international students were no longer able to stay in the UK to find employment unless they found a job at a company that was willing to sponsor a work visa for them.

It's not hard to see the draw of a life in the UK. Besides its multicultural vibe that celebrates diversity and inspires creativity, it's a beautiful region with so much to offer, both in its cities and its spectacular countryside. Work-life balance is also a big thing in the UK. While some of the most exciting jobs are situated there, you can be sure you'll still have time to pursue your hobbies or travel around Europe.

The "graduate route" visa means students can look for work

Students cite the quality of research, free public healthcare, the ability to work while studying and the opportunities made available to them from a cross-cultural education as some of the main reasons why they choose the UK for higher education.

Reinstating the PSW visa makes the UK an attractive choice for international students who want to start their career there after their studies. Although the visa has a cap of 2 years, it gives you the opportunity to search for official work visa sponsorship from your existing company or other firms while you're there.

When you're looking for a job in a particular country, it always helps when you're already physically there (although virtual interviews are fast becoming a thing). That's how the PSW visa would really come in handy, if you're looking to stay in the UK for the longer term.

If you're interested in living and working elsewhere in Europe, other countries offering attractive visas for international students include France, Ireland, Finland and Germany.2

UK checklist

We've put together a checklist to prepare students for their studies abroad. Sorting out all the logistical stuff early means you can relax and enjoy your last few months at home. 

Not studying in the UK? We have checklists for Canada, the US and Australia, too.

Ready to open an overseas account?

We can tell you the best way for you to apply for an overseas account. Simply select your current location and where you would like to open an account. We'll then walk you through the steps.

If you're still exploring your options to study and work abroad, maybe we can help you.