Working after your studies

Graduate visa

The Graduate visa allows you to remain in the UK to work or look for work in the UK after successfully completing an eligible course.

Successful applicants will be granted a two-year visa if they complete a degree course and doctoral graduates will be granted a three-year visa. The main eligibility criteria are: 

  • you can only apply in the UK
  • you must apply before your Tier 4 or Student visa expires 
  • you must have successfully completed a UK Bachelor's degree or postgraduate degree, such as a Master's or doctoral degree  
  • your successful programme completion must have been reported to the Home Office by SOAS Student Visa Compliance
  • you must have successfully completed the eligible programme during the validity of your current Tier 4 or Student visa 
  • for programmes that are longer than 12 months, you must have studied on that programme in the UK for at least 12 months. You must also have held a valid student visa during those 12 months. 

Reporting programme completion to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

You must wait for a confirmation email from SOAS Student Visa Compliance (SVC) before submitting your Graduate Visa application or your application may be refused.

When the SVC team report your programme completion to UKVI, you'll receive an email from them confirming this. Reports can only be sent to UKVI after the confirmed results are released via Online Student Services following review and ratification by the School Board of Exams and Assessment. For Postgraduate taught students who complete their programme in September, these reports should normally be made from the beginning of December.

If you do not receive an email from the SVC team in December informing you that your course completion has been reported to UKVI, please contact the SVC team as soon as possible and before your Student visa expires.

Help and guidance

The Student Advice Service currently does not offer one-to-one appointments regarding Graduate Route or other post-study visa options as the focus of our advice work is assisting students and applicants with queries relating to their student visa.

We provide the following resources and links to help you understand how to apply for this visa:



If you're thinking about applying for the Graduate Route visa, we are running an information session designed to give you an overview of the visa and the application process. 

  • Date: Tuesday 6 August 2024
  • Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Location: Wolfson Lecture Theatre (SWLT, 1st floor Paul Webley Wing, Senate House)

Please note these sessions are for SOAS students only and are not open to the public.

Start-up visa

From 13 April 2023, the Start-up visa route will cease to exist in the UK and will be merged into the Innovator visa route. SOAS University will not make any new Start-up visa endorsements and is not an Innovator visa endorsing body.

Other visa options

UKCISA provides an overview of the visa options that may be available to you once your program is complete such as Skilled Worker.

Help with looking for work

The SOAS Careers Service offers guidance, advice and information resources on careers, employers, vacancies, CV’s and interview skills.