Students Staff

Working in the UK after your studies

It may be possible for you to stay on in the UK for practical training or work experience or for full-time employment depending on your circumstances.

Graduate schemes

  • Start-up scheme

    The Home Office have replaced the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Scheme with the new Start-up scheme. This new scheme is for those wishing to remain in the UK for 2 years to set up a new UK business that must be innovative, viable and scalable.

    The Essex Start-up scheme is for recent University of Essex graduates and final year Essex students only, places are limited and endorsements are not guaranteed. If you are a final year Essex student or recent Essex graduate and have an innovative, viable and scalable new business idea and would like to be considered for the Essex scheme this academic year, you can find out if you would be eligible and how to apply. You must apply by the deadline stated, after this time the scheme for this year will be closed.

    Current Essex Tier 1 (GE) endorsees may be able to apply for a second year under the Start-up scheme if eligible, different eligibility criteria applies and you will need to contact the Essex Startups Team at Studio X to request endorsement before your current Tier 1 (GE) leave expires.

    You can read the Home Office guidance and Immigration rules if you’d like to know more about applying for further leave to remain under the Start-up scheme now or in the future.

  • Tier 4 (Doctorate Extension Scheme)

    This scheme came into force from 6 April 2013. It is designed to give Tier 4 students who have almost finished their UK PhD or other doctorate qualification, an additional 12 months of Tier 4 (General) immigration permission to remain in the UK. Our University is participating in this scheme so, if you haven’t yet completed your University of Essex PhD and have a valid Tier 4 (General) visa, read the details in our applying for a visa section to find out more.

Other schemes

Tier 2

If you have an employer who is prepared to sponsor you, you may be able to remain in the UK to work under Tier 2. We recommend reading the UKCISA guidance and the Home Office website for more information. If you require advice you can contact an immigration lawyer.

Please note: The University’s immigration advisers are not able to offer advice regarding work categories of the Immigration Rules, other than the Start-up scheme and Tier 4 (DES). Please see our website for details of alternative immigration advice services.

New Graduate Immigration Route (GIR) – for those who graduate in or after the summer of 2021

The Home Office has recently confirmed they will introduce a new visa for international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies, it will be called the Graduate Immigration Route (GIR).

To be eligible to apply, University of Essex students will need to have:

  • Completed a degree-level course or above in the UK, in or after the summer of 2021 and;
  • hold a valid Tier 4 (General) visa at the time of the GIR application

The exact details of the scheme are still being discussed by government ministers but the Home Office have also told us

  • Graduates whose Tier 4 leave expires before the route is introduced will not be eligible.
  • It will not be possible to apply for GIR from outside the UK.
  • There will be a minimum length of time graduates will have been studying their course for (to be decided).
  • There will be an application fee to pay as well as the Immigration Health Surcharge (amounts to be decided).
  • To apply for GIR the graduate will not need an immigration sponsor.
  • The University will not have any duties to monitor the graduate once their new GIR leave is granted.
  • There are likely to be immigration conditions restricting the type of work (to be decided).
  • It will not be possible to extend this leave, 2 years is the maximum allowed.
  • It will be possible to switch to other work categories of the immigration rules provided all the requirements can be met.

The Home Office have prepared a Graduate Immigration Route factsheet.

The scheme is not available to apply to at the current time and further details are not expected until the route is added to the immigration rules in 2021.

We will update this page when more is known about this new immigration route. Further information is available from UKCISA.

Careers support

Visit Student Services Hub for friendly, professional support and one-to-one advice for students and Essex graduates.