Work Visas and Permits in the UK for Students and Foreign Workers

Work Visas and Permits in the UK or England: Students and international employees looking for educational opportunities and career advancement frequently go to the UK. If you are one of them, along with others you should first must learn the UK’s immigration policy as well as the prerequisites for acquiring work visas and permits. Else, there might be the chances that you can get stuck before starting your career journey or an important new chapter of your life.

This article is a thorough reference that offers insightful information on the procedure for acquiring work visas and permits in the UK. Understanding the complexities of the UK immigration system is crucial, whether you are an overseas worker seeking career possibilities or a student looking to obtain practical experience through work placements.

The several types of skilled visa, work visas that are available in the UK that will be covered in detail throughout this article. We will also cover the information on how to apply student or work visas and how long you can stay there.

We will also talk about the particular difficulties and things to think about that foreign students and foreign workers could run into when navigating the immigration system in the England.

Students who are granted work visas may have access to priceless chances to develop their professional networks, improve their abilities, and obtain practical experience in their field of study. We will go over the unique work visa choices designed to meet the needs of students and clarify the prerequisites and restrictions for each category.

Table of Contents

Introduction to UK Work Visas and Permits

The UK provides a variety of employment-based visas for foreign employees in an effort to draw qualified professionals from all over the world. We will examine the many visa options, including the Skilled Worker Visa and the Global Talent Visa, and offer details on the application procedure, sponsor criteria, and chances for professional advancement.

People may better manage the criteria, avoid frequent traps, and make informed decisions about their educational and professional objectives in the country by developing a thorough understanding of the UK’s work visa and permit system.

To assist students and foreign workers successfully navigate the application process and increase their chances of obtaining the required work authorization, we will offer helpful information, and visa advice in this article. Let’s start.

Work Visas and Permits in the UK for International Students

Here’s a guide to work visas and work permits in the UK specifically for foreign or international students:

Student Visa: Tier 4 (General) student visa

First and most common visa type is student visa, which is typically Tier 4 (General) student visa. UK student visa (England study visa) is for those students, who desire to study in the UK, and want to pursue their career in selected field. Here are some of the important points to consider for this visa type:

  • In this visa, you can usually work up to 20 hours per week during your term time. You can choose to work during the summer or other breaks before and after your course timings. This visa also gives you flexibility to work part-time during your school or college years.
  • You can take both paid or unpaid work.
  • But, you can’t be self employed or run a business with this visa.
  • You can’t take jobs of a professional athlete or a sports coach with this UK student visa.
  • You also can’t work for a permanent full time job and your studies should remain as primary focus for you.
  • It is important that you carefully read the terms of your visa before taking any job as there might be limitations on how many hours you can work each week.

Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES)

Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) was earlier a visa option in the United Kingdom (UK), but was discontinued on July 1, 2021. It was replaced by Graduate Route Visa. Following were some of it’s highlighters:

  • International students might qualify for the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES), if they have finished with their PhD or another similar kind of doctoral degree in the UK.
  • After completing PhD, students were allowed to stay in the UK for an additional 12 months (1 year) to look for an employment or launch a business.
  • Students were allowed to work in any industry except working as a doctor or dentist in training, professional sportsperson, or sports coach.

Graduate Route (Post-Study Work Visa)

Graduate Route Visa was introduced on July 1, 2021 to replace DES. It is also referred to as Graduate Visa (formerly Tier 2 (Post-Study) visa). It offers more flexibility as compared to DES in finding work in United Kingdom (UK). Some of the important points include:

  • The Graduate Route, is also known as the Post Study Employment Visa or Post Study Work Visa (PSW Visa).
  • With this, foreign students who have earned a degree or graduated from a UK university or a higher education institution are able to live and work there for up to two years (or three years for PhD holders).
  • After completing your studies, you might be qualified to move to a Tier 2 (General) work visa if you receive a job offer from a UK firm.
  • In this visa, students require a job offer from a licensed sponsor employer in the UK and that should meet the minimum salary requirement to continue working in the UK.

High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa

Here are important points to consider for this type of visa:

  • This visa is not only applicable to the graduates in the UK, but to the graduates from the selected group of universities around the world.
  • HPI visa allows the graduates to work in most jobs or to be self-employed in their graduated country and can look for work their for two years (or for three years in case of PhD graduates).
  • No mandatory requirement of minimum salary, but students must be sponsored by an endorsing body.

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa

Earlier, there was the tier 5 visa system in place, which was not specifically for students but for international workers. It was replaced in December 2020 by a new points-based immigration system. It offers certain categories designed for international workers to work in the United Kingdom.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that visa rules and policies are subject to change, so it’s best to check with the UK government’s official sources, consult a lawyer and visit UK work visa official website. Link for official website is provided below, where you can find the most recent and relevant information about work visas and permits for foreign or international students in the UK.

Where to apply for Student Visa in the UK

To know more on where or how to apply student visa for UK, you can check official government website of UK for applying work visas and permits, here:

👉 UK official website for visas and immigration

Work Visas and Permits in the UK for Foreign or International Workers

Here’s a guide to work visas and work permits required in the UK for foreign workers or international workers:

Skilled Worker Visa (Formerly Tier 2 (General) work visa​)

  • If you are a skilled worker with a confirmed job offer from a UK business or a company, than this visa is required for you.
  • In this case, you typically need a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an authorised UK employer (licensed by the UK government).
  • In addition you should met the required eligibility criteria, such as getting minimum required salary, having the necessary cash for maintenance and being proficient in English.
  • A settled worker (a UK resident) are not eligible for these jobs.
  • This visa enables you to perform a specified job function for the employer who is sponsoring you.

Intra-Company Transfer Visa

This visa is required, if your employer company wants to transfer you to their UK branch from any other current country. MNC employees generally applies for this visa for getting approval to shift to UK. Few important points to consider:

  • This visa is provided with 2 sub-categories: Intra-company Transfer Visa and Intra-company Graduate Trainee Visa.
  • This visa is required for multinational corporations moving staff from an overseas branch to a UK branch for temporary work assignments.
  • It is given for time duration between 3 months to 5 years.
  • There are various subcategories under this visa category, such as graduate trainee visa, short-term staff, and long-term staff.
  • To be eligible for this visa: An employee should employed with the current company for more than past 12 months.
  • Employee need a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from its employer’s UK branch.

Investor Visa

  • The Investor Visa is made for high net-worth individuals who are planning to invest significant amount of money in the UK economy.
  • High investment threshold is required (at least 2 Million Euros) to be eligible for this visa.
  • It is now stand closed as of February 2022 and there is no official announcement as to when it will reopen.
  • This visa does not require a job offer for you to work or study in the UK.

Exceptional Talent Visa

This visa category is no longer available now. It has been replaced by the Global Talent Visa in UK.

Global Talent Visa

  • It is the successor to Exceptional Talent Visa.
  • It is eligible for individuals who have remarkable potential or promise in the areas of science, engineering, humanities, medical, digital technology, arts, or culture. They can apply for this visa through the Global potential program.
  • For you to get approval for this visa, you need to be endorsed by a relevant endorsing body in your field.
  • This visa does not require a job offer and enables you to live and work in the UK.

Other Common Work Visas

Some of the lesser known work visas available for international skilled workers to work in the UK or England are:

  1. Start-Up Visa,
  2. Innovator Visa,
  3. Minister of Religion Visa,
  4. Government Authorized Exchange Worker Visa,
  5. Seasonal Worker Visa,
  6. Charity Worker Visa etc.


It’s essential to remember that the UK now has upgraded itself by a points-based immigration system. So, there might be some differences in the particular requirements, eligibility criteria, and processes for each type of student and work visas.

For latest information on the most recent rules and application processes for work visas and permits in the UK for international students and foreign workers. It is advised to carefully access and examine the correct information through official UK government website (mentioned above) and if necessary seek professional assistance or right guidance.


Find Your Perfect Course from our list of hand curated Courses on latest Technologies, Career Courses, Online Courses, Free Courses such as AI, Machine Learning, Data Science, Programming, Project Management, Health, Nursing, Languages plus Resume Builder, Personality Testing and many more. Click on the link below – 

Courses, Online Classes, Tutorials, Books

Recent Articles

Related Stories


Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here