How To Get PR In UK After Study

Dr Mohammad Shafiq

How To Get PR In UK After Study? 2024

How To Get PR In UK After Study? 2024

Have you wondered why many students choose the UK as their study-abroad destination? One of the main reasons is the wide range of post-study work opportunities through graduate, work-related, and family routes. After completing higher study, you can apply for a post-study work visa and get PR in the UK.

According to the UK government statistics for the year ending June 2023, about 76.7% of settlement applications were granted, with 89,751 individuals receiving permanent residence (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK. This number includes those who initially entered the UK on student visas and later transitioned to permanent residency. Let's take a closer look at how to get PR in UK after study.

Understanding The UK Immigration System

The United Kingdom has a strict immigration policy with various visa systems. Its visa categories are divided into three main types:

  • Immigration Routes: This visa category is for people who want to live permanently and work in the UK.
  • Temporary Routes: This category has visas for people who want to stay in the UK for a certain period for a particular reason. For example, study, work, or business.
  • Family Visas: This visa category is for people who have their families living in the UK and want to join them.

Each of these visa categories has multiple visa types. For example, a temporary route includes a Tier 4 student visa, a Tier 2 work visa, and a Tier 5 youth mobility visa. The immigration Routes include skilled worker visas, start-up visas, and innovator visas.

Differentiating Between Tier 4 Student Visa and Post-study Work Visa    

Tier 4 student visa is issued for international students who want to study in the UK for six months or more. On the other hand, a post-study work visa is issued for people who have graduated from a UK university or college and want to stay and work in the UK for two years.

These two UK visas are different in many ways. One significant difference is that students cannot work full-time with a Tier 4 student visa. However, a post-study work visa allows graduates to work full-time. A Tier 4 student visa is generally issued for the duration of the course, whereas a post-study work visa is allowed for 2 years.

Exploring the Options for Transitioning From a Student Visa to a PR

You can transition from a student visa to permanent residency in several ways. One such option is the Skilled Worker Visa. After completing your higher study, you can apply for this visa with a valid job offer from a UK employer. Other options include the Start-Up visa and Innovator visa.

Another way of getting PR in the UK is by marrying a British citizen. All these visa options will lead you to Permanent Residency in the UK. You can seek professional help from visa consultants to understand which option is right for you.

Requirements For PR In The UK

Requirements For PR In The UK

After completing your higher study in the UK, you must fulfill some criteria to become eligible for a Permanent Residency. These requirements include:

  • Length of stay requirements: you might wonder how many years to get PR in UK. It depends on which visa you currently hold. Generally, you must live in the UK for at least five years before applying for a PR. But if you marry a British citizen, you may be eligible for a PR within three years.
  • Academic qualifications and their relevance: Your academic qualification can be an excellent way to demonstrate your relevance in British society. For example, having a degree from a UK university may work as evidence of your ability to integrate into society.
  • English language proficiency requirements: You must fulfill these requirements to get a PR in the UK. It means you must demonstrate your ability to speak, read, write, and understand English.
  • Financial requirements and maintenance funds: You will need a certain amount of money to get UK PR after study. This is because you have to prove that you have enough money to support yourself and your family in the UK. The amount depends on your visa type and family size.
  • Character and health requirements: You will need good health and a clean criminal record to get PR in the UK. It is also crucial to provide evidence that you are not a threat to national security.

Available Pathways To PR

Easiest Way to Get PR in UK: Available Pathways To PR

The Graduate Route

This new visa route allows international graduates to stay and work in the UK for up to 2 years after graduation. You must have the following eligibility criteria for UK permanent residence after study:  

  • Graduated from a UK university or college with a Tier 4 student visa.
  • Fulfilled English proficiency and other requirements.
  • No criminal record and has not been in the UK illegally.

A graduate route visa lasts for about 2 years. With this visa, you can work in any job for any employer and in any sector. After taking up employment, you can switch to other visa categories, such as a Skilled Worker visa.

The UK government has recently made some changes in the student visa policy. From 1 January 2024, international students won't be able to bring dependent family members unless they are in postgraduate research programs. According to the new policy, international students can only switch from student routes to work routes after completing their studies.

Work-Related Routes

The UK has several work-related visa routes that can lead to Permanent Residency. The most common ones are:

  • Skilled Worker Visa: It'll allow you to live and work as a skilled immigrant in the UK. You will need a valid job offer from a UK employer to apply for this visa. There are also other requirements, such as English language requirements.
  • The Innovator (Tier 1) or Start-up Visa: This visa applies to innovators and entrepreneurs. To be eligible for this visa, you must have a business plan and demonstrate your ability to make a successful business out of it.

Family-Related Routes

You can live and work in the UK after graduation and apply for PR if you have family members who are settled in the UK. There are several family visa categories in the UK, each with its own eligibility criteria. Here are the standard requirements for each category:

  • You must be a partner, spouse, child, or parent of a person settled in the UK.
  • Required English language proficiency.
  • No criminal record.

Once you are in the UK with a family route visa, you can apply for a Permanent Residency after a certain period, generally 3 years. This is the easiest way to get PR in UK.

Global Talent Visa

This is another visa category for people with exceptional potential to contribute significantly to the UK's economy and culture. You must be self-employed or have a job offer from a UK-based organization to apply for this visa. After getting this visa, you will be eligible for ILR in 3 years and PR in a few more years.

Must Read:

Application Process For PR In The UK

Application Process For PR In The UK

The UK PR process is often a daunting task. But you can make it much easier by dividing the entire process into several segments.

Here is the step-by-step UK PR process:

  1. Document requirements and gathering evidence: The first step in the PR application is gathering all the necessary documents and evidence. Among other documents, you will need a valid passport, your visa, income statements, and proof of your English proficiency.
  2. Completing the application forms: Once you are ready with your documents, you will have to fill out the PR application forms. These forms are available online, and you mustn't make any mistakes in completing the forms.
  3. Submitting the application and paying fees: After completing your application form, it's time to submit it to the Home Office. Then you’ll have to pay the application fees.
  4. Biometrics and attending appointments: You will be called for a biometric appointment after submitting your application. There you will have to give your fingerprints and photographs. You may also need to attend an interview with the officials.
  5. Waiting times and processing of the application: It’s time for you to wait for the confirmation. The waiting period varies from case to case, but it can take months to receive a decision.
  6. Decision and appeal process: If your application is successful, you will get a Permanent Residency. However, you can appeal the decision if your application is not successful.

Tips For Success

  • Planning ahead and understanding the requirements early on: You must understand the PR requirements and plan your application accordingly. This way, you can gather the necessary information and documents on time.
  • Building a strong case through relevant work experience and qualifications: You should achieve relevant work experience before applying for a PR to show that you can contribute to the UK society.
  • Maintaining good immigration and legal compliance throughout the stay: You should always comply with all the UK immigration rules and regulations while staying in the UK. Also, stay updated on the recent changes in immigration rules.
  • Seeking professional advice and guidance, if necessary: Do not shy away from seeking professional advice and guidance while applying for PR in the UK.


The United Kingdom has several routes to PR for international students after completing higher studies. A PR will allow you to integrate into British society and achieve your desired personal and professional growth. So, now that you know how to get PR in UK after study, you can plan your higher study or start the application process on the right note.

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