There are lots of different ways to stay in the UK after being an international student, and most of them require a visa. If you’re looking for a little advice on what to do for studying and beyond, we can explain how and when students can apply for an FLR visa and the other visa options after university.
Understanding visas and which one you need isn’t known for being a simple process. However, hopefully, we can help you with understanding who can apply for the FLR visa and your options as an international student in the UK.
What Is A Further Leave To Remain Visa?
As explained by the government website, a Further Leave to Remain form is for those wanting to extend their stay in the UK.
This type of visa extends your stay on the basis of your personal circumstance, for example, if your partner is a national or has indefinite stay status. It can also be applied if you are a dependent child of someone with limited leave.
An FLR application must be completed before any previous visas expire and whilst you’re still in the UK
The form must be completed online, but you can request help doing so if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself. Applications will be done through the government website.
Check your eligibility here.
Can Students Apply For An FLR Visa?
As reported by Migrate, those who are currently in the UK under a non-partner visa are able to switch their visa via an FLR. This applies to the Student visa, previously a Tier 4, if your personal circumstances make you eligible.
So, if your partner lives in the UK and you have been together for a significant time period, then you should be able to apply for an FLR visa as a student. Eventually, this can be extended to an Indefinite Leave to Remain visa, however, this can take a number of years.
What Visas Can Students Apply For After An Undergraduate Degree?
Reiss Edwards has some really helpful information for those seeking a visa once their undergraduate course has finished. Luckily, students have a few options to pick from as well as the FLR visa. Importantly, you need to make sure you have applied for whichever visa fits your circumstance best before your previous one runs out.
Firstly, you can simply extend your Student visa if you are continuing to study. Typically, student visas for degree-level education last five years, however, this isn’t long enough if you’re doing a postgraduate. To apply, you’ll need an unconditional offer with a licensed student sponsor. Plus, study confirmation for your new course is required.
You’ll also need to meet the academic progress requirements. This means proving your chosen course is a progression of what you have already studied, related to your career aspirations or connected to a medical course you completed whilst under your Student visa.
Post University Visas
Those finishing their studies can also switch to a Graduate visa. With this, you can work, volunteer, be self-employed and more. You’ll also be able to live with a partner and travel freely, ensuring you return to the UK. For this, you’ll need to apply within the UK and have finished your course on a student visa.
Lastly, you can skip the graduate level altogether and go straight to a Skilled-Workers visa. With this, you can have settlement status after 5 years instead of waiting on the Graduate visa. To be successful in your application, you must have a job offer from a licensed sponsor in the UK. You will also Certificate of Sponsorship. Additionally, your job will have to meet the minimum salary requirement.
These are the main visas that students can switch to, however, there are a few other options. For example, if you are married to an eligible person then apply for a Spouse visa. Other times include an Innovator visa, a Start-Up visa and an Investor visa.
Remember, visas require a fee per person. Make sure you apply in time and have the correct funds to be able to successfully apply.