UK PSW post study work visa to be relaunched

UK PSW post study work visa to be relaunched

The British government has announced its intention to relaunch the 2-year UK PSW post study work visa for foreign students who choose to study in the UK.

Under the new visa reform proposals by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, foreign students will have access to the UK post study work visa that will grant them right to work in the country for up to two years after graduation.

This is likely to apply to foreign students who enrol to study in the UK from 2020-21.

[IMPORTANT UPDATE: The UK Home Office has issued this statement on PSW confirming the following:

“The new route will be launched in the summer of 2021, meaning that any eligible student who graduates in the summer of 2021 or after will be able to apply for the route. This includes students who have already started their courses.”]

The announcement is set to be welcomed by UK universities who have recently seen potential international students opt for competitor markets like Canada, Germany, or Australia, instead, all of which have liberalised post study work permits for international students.

The UK post study work visa was previously available to foreign students seven years ago, when it was scrapped under Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s government by then Home Secretary, and future Prime Minister, Theresa May.

UK PSW post study work visa reintroduction greeted positively

Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI, said in a blog post: “The evidence for a change of approach is overwhelming and it has always been a matter of time before we saw sense as a country.

“The economy, universities and students will all benefit from a more sensible approach. It is likely to have the biggest impact on the number of students coming from the Indian subcontinent.

“Given that Jo Johnson has fought so hard for this in and out of office, it is a really significant legacy that he leaves behind.”

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities, tweeted his support for the announcement, saying: “[This is] very positive news for students, universities, employers and local communities. For too long the lack of post-study work opportunities has held back UK universities.”

Last month, PM Boris Johnson announced the government would work with the scientific community to develop a new fast-track UK visa for scientists, a route for ‘the brightest and best’, with a view to launching it later this year.

Update: Whilst undergraduate and postgraduate international students will remain eligible for 2-year PSW visas, the UK government announced in July 2020 that international PhD students will be eligible for 3 years post study work UK Graduate Route PSW visas from 2021.

Hari Srinivasan - Managing Editor, Global Education Times (GET News)

Hari is the Managing Editor of Global Education Times. Hari has clocked nearly a decade working as a communications professional with a focus on the education sector. He has also had stints in journalism and advertising in a career which has seen him live, study, and work, in three countries.
You can reach him at:

8 thoughts on “UK PSW post study work visa to be relaunched

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *