For guidance on working after the end of your course with a student visa, go to our webpage:
Working during your studies
Information Workshop on working after your Studies
Find out what your options are for remaining in the UK to work after your studies at the information session organised by LSE Careers. ISIS and LSE Human Resources will outline Tier 2 and other categories that you may be eligible for. This will take place on:
26 June 2013 at 1pm. You can book a place via Career Hub
LSE Careers Events
Guidance for Employers
summary of the rules for employing LSE students [pdf]
New Doctorate Extension Scheme
updated 11 April 2013
Students studying for a PhD at LSE with Tier 4 (General) Student visas are eligible to apply for permission to work for 12 months at the end of their studies. LSE is currently setting procedures for students to apply.
As the scheme is under Tier 4, you will have to apply for the additional 12 months before you complete your studies at LSE - ideally up to 60 days before (The completion date will be the date you are expected to receive your results in writing).
When to apply:
after you complete your viva with no corrections and before you receive confirmation of your award in writing, or
maximum 60 days before you have to submit your final corrections
You cannot apply on the date you submit your thesis as at that time, LSE cannot confirm the date that you are likely to receive your award.
How to apply:
you will need a CAS from LSE confirming that you wish to seek or take work in the 12 months after the end of your studies
you will be required to formally keep in touch with the School during this period and sign an agreement to do this
you will need to provide evidence of funds (2 months maintenance funds (2x£1000) plus any outstanding tuition fees
you will have to hold a Tier 4 (General) Student visa or Student immigration permission
you can only apply from inside the UK
if you previously held a Post Study Work visa, International Graduates Scheme, Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme or Fresh Talent visa, you are still eligible to apply
Conditions of the scheme:
you will be able to take any kind of work - it does not need to be connected to your research
you will be permitted to work full time from the date you complete your programme at LSE - this means as long as you have applied before you complete your studies, you can start working full time before you receive your decision from the UK Border Agency
If you would like to apply for this permission, please inform the research degrees unit.
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
On January 15, ISIS and Careers ran an information session on this scheme. The pdf document of the slides is a summary of the information listed below:
ISIS presentation on Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
The government introduced a new scheme to allow students who have been identified by their institution as having developed innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills to extend their stay in the UK to establish a business in the UK. LSE is part of this scheme and we are able to sponsor a maximum of 10 students who will complete their studies between April 2013 and April 2014 (The number of places will be allocated to LSE by the UK Border Agency after April 2013).
If you are successful, you will be able to remain in the UK for 12 months to set up your business. During this time you are also permitted to work up to 20 hours a week. You will be required to attend meetings at LSE during this period to monitor your progress and if progress is sufficient, LSE may endorse you to apply for a further 12 month period.
How to apply
Please note that applications for sponsorship in 2013 are now closed. The next competition and selection process will be in February 2014.
To apply for sponsorship from LSE, you can only do so by competing in the LSE Entrepreneur of the Year or the LSE Social Entrepreneur of the Year competition. For details go to the Careers Website:
If you are selected by the LSE panel, LSE will issue you an endorsement letter confirming that you and your business idea have been assessed by LSE. You will also have to meet the following requirements:
hold a Tier 4 (General) Student visa or student visa
successfully complete your degree programme at LSE (PG Certificate or Diplomas are not eligible)
show evidence that you have held £900 in your bank account for a consecutive 90 day period
if you have been wholly sponsored (full tuition fees and living costs) by a government or an international scholarship agency in the last 12 months, evidence that you have their unconditional consent to remain in the UK to set up your business
The current application fees are:
£700 by post
£1000 in person
ISIS will advise successful students on the detailed application process.
If your family are in the UK with you as your dependants, they can apply to remain in the UK as your dependants under Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur).
Who cannot apply?
If you have previously stayed in the UK under Tier 1 (Post Study Work), Fresh Talent., International Graduates Scheme or the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme, you are not eligible to apply.
You can read the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Policy Guidance on the UK Border Agency website:
UK Border Agency
Keeping in touch with LSE
As you are preparing to graduate from LSE, remember that LSE wants you to keep in touch with us. And you can join the Alumni Association. This currently has 96,000 members worldwide. For information go to:
LSE Alumni Association
Tier 2 (General)
If you currently have:
Tier 4 (General) Student visa or
Student Visa or
Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa
you can apply to switch to Tier 2 inside the UK. You must do this before your current visa expires. If you apply from inside the UK in any of the categories listed above, your employer does not need to pass the Resident Labour Market test (where they have to prove that no other settled worker can do the job), and your Certificate of Sponsorship is not subject to any cap or restriction. These are the key differences between applying for Tier 2 after your studies and applying from outside the UK.
To obtain a Tier 2 (General) visa for you, your employer must
have a Tier 2 sponsor licence*
offer a 'graduate level' job or be on the shortage occupation list**
advertise at Job Centre Plus
allocate a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) to applicant
offer a minimum salary of £20,300 per year
* you can check to see if an employer has a Tier 2 Sponsor License on the UK Border Agency website:
Register of Tier 2 sponsors
** Shortage occupation list is mainly for jobs in medicine and engineering. You can read the list and the list of graduate level jobs defined by the Migration Advisory Committee on the UK Border Agency website at:
UK Border Agency
Tier 4 Dependants and Tier 2
If your dependant is in the UK with you and they want to apply to continue in the UK as your dependant when you switch to Tier 2, they can apply to extend their stay in the UK.
If your dependant is in the UK with you and they want to switch to Tier 2, they can apply inside the UK but they must meet all the other requirements of Tier 2 (including passing the Resident Labour Market Test) and the employer has to issue a 'restricted' COS (see the details below on COS).
When to apply for Tier 2 (General)
You can apply inside the UK
before your visa has expired (9 month Master students will have until 31 August, undergraduate students will have until 31 October and PG students will have until 31 January to apply)
you have completed a minimum of 12 months study towards a PhD programme
you must have successfully completed and passed your undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme or
If you are currently studying with Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa, you can apply as soon as you find an employer who wants to sponsor you.
Please note if you apply with provisional results your application is likely to be refused.
Please note - it is not possible to extend your student visa to give you more time to look for work in the UK - unless you are a PhD student and you apply under the doctorate extension scheme (see above). All other students can only extend your student stay if you are continuing to study in the UK.
Points required to apply for Tier 2 (General)
You need 70 points to apply:
Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) - 30 points
Maintenance funds – 10 points
English language – 10 points
Salary – 20 points
Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)
There is an annual cap on the number of migrants who can enter the UK to work. From 6 April 2013 - 5 April 2014, there will be 20,700 COSs for migrants applying from outside the UK to work here. These are referred to as 'restricted COS'.
Employers in the UK will also be allocated a number of their own COSs which they can use to employ people already in the UK. These are referred to as 'unrestricted COS'. This means that if you are able to apply for Tier 2 (General) before your current immigration permission expires, your employer can use an unrestricted COS from their own allocation to apply for you.
You must apply within three months from the date your COS was assigned and no more than three months before the start date.
An employer must show that the job is at graduate level and the starting salary is at least £20,300.
Trainee salaries. UKCISA has advised the following:
Job titles often do not include trainee positions, but the UKBA has confirmed that the lower "new entrant" wages will apply to such jobs, even if the specific job title is not included in the new Codes of Practice (Appendix J, and Appendix K for shortage occupations).
A 'new entrant' is outlined in the Statement of Intent published before the rules changed on 6 April 2013 and includes:
graduates switching from Tier 4 into Tier 2 under post study provisions
graduate recruits where the employer has used a university 'milkround' to satisfy the resident labour market test
anyone aged 25 or under on the date of their initial Tier 2 application
If you are being sponsored for over 3 years and 1 month, you will not be considered a 'new entrant'.
If you will be working for less than 12 months, your points will be calculated pro-rata. If you will be working part time, you will get points for your actual earnings, not for the equivalent full time earnings. The earnings are calculated up to a maximum of 48 hours per week so even if you are going to work more than this, your earnings will be calculated based on a 48 hour week.
Documents required from LSE
To switch from Tier 4 to Tier 2 inside the UK, you need to show evidence that you have completed and passed your programme. When you apply you can show this by including:
your original degree certificate, academic transcript or
an academic reference on LSE headed paper* which states:
the course title / award
the course duration
date of course completion (unless you are studying a PhD course)
* Academic reference
You do not need to obtain this from an academic member of staff - you can request this from student registry at LSE who have a standard letter which contains all the required information.
Paragraph 93 of the Tier 2 Policy Guidance (version 04/13) states
A qualification will have been deemed to have been ‘obtained’ on the date on which you were first notified in writing, by the awarding institution of the award.
This means the date that your results are posted on LSE For You. If you want to apply for Tier 2 before you obtain your official degree certificate, you can request a letter from LSE registry by e-mailing
Students with full scholarships
If you were fully funded (tuition fees and living costs) for your studies in the UK by the UK government, your home government, the British Council or any international company, university or independent school in the last 12 months you also need to submit a letter from the financial sponsor confirming you can remain in the UK to work.
You automatically get 10 points for English language if you have obtained your degree from LSE (and you must provide evidence of this).
If you are a PhD student applying after studying for 12 months, you can obtain 10 points if you have a previous qualification from the UK at degree level or above. If you do not have a UK degree qualification, you will need to complete an English Language test. (If you started your PhD study at LSE and have obtained the MRes, you can use the MRes transcript as evidence of your English Language level).
To obtain 10 points for maintenance, you must show:
£900 in your account for a consecutive 90 day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of your application
Alternatively, your employer may state on the COS that they will 'maintain and accommodate you' up to the end of your first month of employment in the UK (to a minimum of £900)
The UK Border Agency is extremely strict on the kind of documents that they will accept as evidence of your funds. For guidance on the kind of documents that the UK Border Agency will accept see paragraphs 158 - 163 of the Tier 2 policy Guidance (version 04/13).
UK Border Agency
The Tier 2 application form is now online. You can apply in person (£953) or submit documents by post (£578). For guidance on the application process go to:
UK Border Agency
Applying for jobs in the UK
Many employers are familiar with Tier 2. When applying for jobs in the UK, you may have to explain to potential employers that they can issue you an 'unrestricted COS' and that they do not need to meet the Resident Labour Market Test to employ you from inside the UK.
If there is a question on an application form that asks if you need permission to work in the UK you must answer yes. This may be the employer checking what they will be required to do if they choose to hire you - it does not mean that you will automatically not be selected if you say that you need sponsorship. It is illegal for an employer not to select you at the application stage simply because you need a visa.
Further advice on applying for Tier 2
ISIS specialises in the student immigration rules and are not trained to advise on Tier 2. The guidance on this page is taken from the UK Border Agency Tier 2 Policy Guidance which you can read in full at:
UK Border Agency
The Students' Union at LSE do not advise on applying for Tier 2.
However most employers have a Human Resources department who will be able to advise you.
Conditions of your stay under Tier 2
In the same way that your Tier 4 (General) visa is tied to LSE, your Tier 2 (General) visa ties you to the employer. If you change jobs, you will need to obtain a new Tier 2 (General) visa.
Tier 2 is first granted for a maximum of three years. Your employer can continue to employ you for a further three years. After this period you must apply for 'indefinite leave to remain in the UK' (settlement) or leave the UK. You would then have to wait 12 months before you were able to return to work in the UK.
Your employer has duties to monitor your attendance at work. If you fail to attend work without informing your employer or if you leave your job early, your employer will inform the UK Border Agency. If you leave your job and leave the UK, you will have to wait for 12 months to return to work in the UK.
Tier 2 priority applications
The UKBA is currently running a pilot scheme to fast-track Tier 2 applications within the UK for a higher fee. Applicants must register to be part of the pilot and it is estimated that decisions will be made in 10 days.
You can find further details on the UKBA website.
UK Border Agency
Applying for Tier 2 from outside the UK
You must apply for Tier 2 from inside the UK before you current visa expires. If you run out of time, you will have to leave the UK and when you find an employer you can apply from outside the UK. When applying from outside the UK, the main difference is that your employer will have to pass the Resident Labour Market Test and they will have to use a 'restricted' COS to sponsor you.
Other work categories in the UK
Investors need a minimum of £ 1 million
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
you need at least £200,000 accessible in the UK
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
1000 places a year for people who are 'internationally recognized as world leaders in their field'
Turkish ECCA business category
a concession under the European Community Association Agreement
You can only apply for the following schemes outside the UK:
commonwealth nationals who have a grandparent born in the UK
Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme)
this replaced the Japanese Youth Mobility Scheme, BUNAC, working holiday maker
Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)
for charity or religious workers
Tier 5 (Government Approved Exchange)
this includes internship scheme. For details of one such scheme go to:
GTI Solutions Tier 5 Internship Scheme
For a good summary of the programmes go to:
For full details of all the schemes go to:
UK Border Agency