Post-study work exemptions for PhD and MBA students

From 6 April 2013 onwards to help MBA and PhD graduates stay on in the UK after their studies to find work. Other changes to the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) route will also make things easier for applicants in this route.

The changes to the Immigration Rules are being introduced to give high-value migrants the opportunity to establish themselves in the UK. The changes detailed below will come into effect for all applications received on or after 6 April 2013.

Under the new rules any PhD student can apply for a further 12 months leave to remain in the UK once they have completed their course. This extension is given so that the qualified students can find skilled work and a Tier 2 visa, or so they can set themselves up as an entrepreneur and qualify for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

The Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) route will be expanded with an extra 1,000 places being offered specifically for MBA graduates from UK higher educational institutions. This brings the total for the route up to 2,000 places per year. The places will be allocated for 2013-14 as follows:

  • 900 places allocated to higher educational institutions for them to endorse graduates in any subject
  • 1,000 places allocated to higher educational institutions for them to endorse MBA graduates
  • 100 places allocated to UKTI for them to endorse overseas graduates

Provisions will also be introduced that will allow graduates to apply for their visa from overseas, as long as the application is made within 12 months of graduation.

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