Friday, 7 December 2012

Post Study Work Visa......What Next? - Part II


Post Study Work Visa......What Next? - Part II

Consultant Editor - Fahmida Khan 

The new rules that were enforced on the 6th of April 2012 has led to the closure of the PSW route to all new applicants. In the light of this new change this article focuses on the options and alternatives available for new and qualified graduates.

The current immigration rules has outlined the below as potential routes to extend the current leave to remain:
  • Tier 4 student 
  • Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur 
  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur 
  • Tier 1 Investor 
  • Tier 2 
A graduate who has either just graduated or is under the PSW route could opt to extend their stay as a Tier 4 student provided a valid CAS and sufficient maintenance funds are available to satisfy the points requirements. However careful consideration and attention has to be given to the changes in the new policy guidance that place limitations on the type of course, length of study, continuity of studies, work restrictions, type of the education provider, and bringing dependents - if opting for this route.

The other more favorable route for fresh graduates would be to switch to the Tier 1 route of Graduate Entrepreneur. This is a new category that is intended to retain graduates identified by UK higher education institutions as having developed world class innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills, to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish or more businesses in the UK. This is not applicable for PSW holders or other graduates outside the UK. There is a limit of 1000 places per annum for this category.

The main conditions that need to be fulfilled for this category is to obtain 95 points based on: 
  • Letter of endorsement from a higher education institution that has been approved by the UK Border Agency for the purposes of endorsing the application under this route. The endorsement letter should confirm that the candidate has been assessed and the business idea and that the business they pursue is genuine, credible and innovative, and are willing to spend the majority of the working time on developing business ventures. The letter could be used as part of the application within 3 months of the date of issue. 75 points will be awarded for this.
  • 10 points each will be awarded for English language and satisfactory maintenance funds – please refer the relevant policy guidance for further information. 

Tier 1 Entrepreneur 

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) is for non-European migrants who want to invest in the UK by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of, a business or businesses here.

You must score a total of 95 points and meet all the other requirements below:
  • Access to investment funds : 25 points 
    • not less than £200,000 OR 
    • not less than £50,000 if it is from a UK venture capital firm or entrepreneurial seed firm OR 
    • not less than £50,000 if applying for leave to remain and have, or were last granted, leave as a Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) migrant. 
    • not less than £50,000 if are applying for leave to remain and have, or were last granted, leave as a Tier 1 (Post-study work) migrant; and were registered with HM revenue and Customs as self-employed, or a registered director of a new or existing business no more than 3 months before your application; and are engaged in business activity, other than the work necessary to administer your business. 
  • These funds are held in 1 or more regulated financial institutions - 25 points
  • These funds are disposable (free to spend) in the UK - 25 points
  • You can speak English to the required standard – 10 points 
  • You have enough money to support yourself while you are in the UK -10 points 
Please refer the relevant policy guidance for further information.


Tier 1 Investor 

The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for high-net-worth individuals who want to make a substantial financial investment in the UK.

To be able to apply, you must score 75 points by either
  • having £1,000,000 or more of your own money for investment in the UK; OR 
  • having £2,000,000 or more in personal assets, plus a loan of £1,000,000 or more for investment in the UK. 
Please refer the relevant policy guidance for further information.


Please Note: 
  • From the 20th of July 2012, all the regulations laid out in the policy guidance documents have been passed as a parliamentary act and therefore forms an integral part of the Immigration rules. Hence failure to satisfy all the specific requirements would lead to an automatic refusal of your visa application.
  • Ensure that you are thorough with the policy guidance for the particular the points based route that you opt for. It is a daunting task and would be advisable to seek professional guidance if you are unable to come to terms with the policies and procedures.
All the Best!!

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