If you want to remain in the UK after finishing a degree, you may apply for a UK Post-study work visa, which can allow you to stay in the country and look for jobs or work for two or three years. This article will walk you through the fees and costs of this visa, and some relevant information for your reference.

What Is A Post-Study Work (PSW) Visa? 

The UK post-study work visa, also known as the Graduate Immigration Route, is a visa category for international students who have finished a degree at a UK higher education institution. The visa allows graduates to stay in the UK and work, or look for a job, for a fixed period of two years or three years for PhD students. 

Unlike other work visas, there is much more flexibility with the PSW visa. It allows you to work in any profession at any skill level and change jobs more easily. During this visa period, you may travel abroad.

Who Is Eligible for A PSW Visa? 

The PSW visa is designed only for overseas students who earned a bachelor’s degree or above in the UK. To apply for a PSW visa, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • You hold a valid student visa (Tier 4 or General) currently.
  • You are in the UK.
  • You studied a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or other eligible course for at least twelve months with your current student visa.
  • You have the recognition from your education institution that the Home Office has been notified of the successful completion of your courses.
  • If your current student visa expires before you receive your official course results, you will not be able to switch to the PSW visa.

UK PSW Visa Fees

The whole UK PSW visa application process involves several types of fees. When you apply for the visa, you should pay the £822 application fee and pay the immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS) of £1035 per year. The total 2-year post-study work visa UK fee is £2892; the 3-year visa is £3927 in total. Below is a list of each cost type of PSW fee in the UK:

Cost TypeTwo-year VisaThree-year Visa
Visa Application Fee£822£822
Immigration Health Surcharge£2070£3105
Additional  Cost TypeEstimated Cost
Document Translation£20 – £60 per page
Legal Advice£500 – £2000
English Language Test£150 – £250
Maintenance Funds£1270 (held in the bank for 28 consecutive days)
Dependant Visa Application Fee£822 per Dependant
Dependant IHS Fee£1035 per year per Dependant

IHS Fee for UK PSW Visa Applicants

The IHS fee refers to the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge in the UK. As long as you apply for a PSW visa, you must pay the IHS fee of £1035 per year. This allows you to use the National Health Service during your stay in the UK.

Other Hidden Costs of UK PSW Visa

Depending on your circumstances, there may be extra costs associated with the application process.

  • Translation of documents: all the documents you submit should be in English. If not, you should have them translated with a fee of £20 – £60 per page.
  • Legal advice: an immigration lawyer or advisor may be involved in your case depending on its complexity. If so, the service will cost £500 – £2000 in general.
  • English language test: You should take English language tests such as IELTS to prove your English skills are compatible with your job. Generally, such tests cost £150 – £250.
  • Maintenance funds: the maintenance funds requirement is set by the UK Immigration Office to show that you have enough money to support yourself in the UK. For PSW Visa applicants, the amount of the maintenance funds is £1270 and it should be held in your bank account for a consecutive 28-day period. You should provide relevant bank statements as evidence that clearly show you have held the required amount for the period.
  • Fees for dependants: If your partner and children join you as dependants in the UK, there will be an IHS fee of £1035 per year per dependant. In addition, the UK PSW visa fee for each dependant is £822.

Can I Get A Refund for The UK PSW Visa Fees?

Generally, visa application fees are non-refundable. If your application is refused or withdrawn, or if you decide to cancel your application, you will not get a refund.

What Are The UK PSW Visa Scholarships And Waivers?

Cases are universities, governments, and some organizations that offer financial aid for eligible graduates, which can be used to cover visa fees and living costs. They have different criteria based on academic performance, financial need, the applicant’s home country, and the field of study.

How Long Does The PSW Visa Last? 

The PSW visa lasts for only two years or three years depending on your degree. If you overstay your PSW visa, there will be various penalties such as potential fines, imprisonment, detention, deportation, ban from re-entering the UK for between 1 and 10 years, and a negative impact on your future UK visa applications. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you should have your next move planned.

What Happens After 2 Years of PSW in The UK? 

After your PSW visa validity period, there are two options, return to your home country or continue staying in the UK. If you choose the latter one, you will need to apply for a new type of visa to stay lawfully in the UK. There are many visa options. Each visa category has its own requirements, application process, and associated costs. This depends on the specific circumstances. Currently, the skilled worker visa is one of the most popular routes, which requires an eligible job with payment meeting the minimum salary requirements. After 5 years of residency in the UK under this visa, you may apply for infinite leave to remain, which is permanent residency in the UK. If you aim to start a business in the UK, you may consider the Innovator Founder route. 

Requirements for PSW Visas

When you apply for a PSW Visa, you’ll need to provide the following documents:

  • A valid passport.
  • Biometric residence permit(BRP), if you received one when you applied for your student visa.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies reference number from when you applied for your student visa.
  • Proof of your relationship with your partner or children as dependants (if applicable).
  • A letter from your scholarship or sponsorship provider approving your application, if you are eligible for scholarships or fee waivers that could cover the PSW visa fee.

All the documents should be in English. If not, you’ll also need to provide a certified translation.

📢Also Read: Can I Enter the UK without My BRP

How to Apply for A PSW Visa

You must apply online for a PSW Visa. Follow the steps to your post-study work visa.

Step 1. Download the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app and scan your biometric residence permit. Then create a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account.

Step 2. Access the official site and finish the application.

Step 3. Usually, you will get a decision by email within 8 weeks. If your application is approved, access this site to prove your right to live and work in the UK.


Can I bring dependants on a post-study work visa?

Yes, you can bring your partner and children as dependants on your PSW visa. There will be a PSW-dependant visa fee of £822 and an IHS fee of £1035 for each dependant. Each dependant must meet the maintenance funds requirement as well. Therefore, it’s important to consider these additional costs when planning your family’s move to the UK.

Can I apply for PR after PSW in the UK? 

No. According to the current immigration rules, the PSW visa does not count towards indefinite leave to remain (ILR), also known as Permanent Residence (PR) in the UK. Therefore, you can’t apply for PR after your PSW visa expires. Instead, you should apply for another visa category first, and then apply for ILR when you hold one of the following visas for at least 5 years: 

  • Family visa: 5 years
  • Work visa: 5 years
  • Long residence to ILR: 10 years
  • Business visa: 3 to 5 years.

🔍Also Read: How to Switch From Pre-Settled Status to Settled Status

Is the PSW visa extendable/renewable?

No, the UK PSW Visa is neither extendable nor renewable. This one-time visa is issued for a fixed period of two or three years. If you wish to continue working in the UK, during this period you may be able to switch to a different type of visa, a skilled worker visa, for instance. You will need a separate visa application.


This guide offers a detailed explanation of the UK post-study work visa. It is designed for overseas students who earned a degree in the UK. This visa lasts for 2 years, and 3 years for Ph.D. graduates. There will be several fees involved in the visa application. If you decide to work in the UK after you graduate, you must have a clear understanding of the PSW visa.

By Dolores Xiao

I am a content creator and marketer with over 5 years of professional writing experience. I hold a bachelor's degree in communications and have a natural curiosity about technology, as evidenced by my technology blog. As an avid traveler, I draw upon adventures in over 10 countries to inject unique cultural perspectives into my articles and social media campaigns. I thrive on developing engaging content that informs and inspires audiences.