PR & Visa

Path to Permanent Residency in the United Kingdom

Path to Permanent Residency in the United Kingdom

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The whole process of getting a PR in United Kingdom after finishing a degree there is discussed in this article - right from the admit, student visa, work experience and the actual way to apply for the PR process.

Aishwarya Bhatt
Updated on:  06 Sep 2023  | Reviewed By: 
| 104K | 8  min read

The United Kingdom is one of the best choices for pursuing education as it is a great blend of people from around the world. It is also student-friendly and is amongst the leaders in almost all sectors. In total, the UK spent a staggering £92.3 billion on education in the year 2019-2020 and the numbers have risen up since then. The United Kingdom has a total of 12 universities in the list of the top 100 universities in the world. England has the famous Oxford and Cambridge, which are very well known across the world and are over 8 centuries old. 


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UK is a diverse blend of various cultures and the main religions are Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism. The rich and ancient history and a modern democracy make the United Kingdom a conducive place for Higher Education. In the year 2018-19, there were 4,85,685 international students pursuing their degrees in the United Kingdom. In the year ending in September 2019, approximately 276,889 Student Route Visas (previously known as Tier 4 Student visa) were granted and the numbers have been rising since then. The United Kingdom welcomes these students wholeheartedly to study and also be a permanent resident.


How to Get PR in the UK?


Start by Securing an Admission and Getting an Admit

Quality of teaching and research in the UK Universities in higher education is reputed around the world because of the continuous assessment. The British Government's Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) keeps in check the quality of education with scope for compromise. There are various aspects taken into account and so one can be sure of the quality of education. The universities are graded points out of 24 wherein 22 and above is considered excellent. So while choosing a university it is important to see the score- the higher the better.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) monitors the research activities of the universities in the United Kingdom. 

Different universities have different criteria. Usually, the higher the ranking of the university, the higher are the scores required. The English requirement also differs in each university.

You also need to pass numerous exams to study in the UK, such as

The prerequisite for some of the universities across the UK is an undergraduate degree with second class honors or better. The test scores usually need to be over 90 for online TOEFL. An IELTS of 7.0 and at least a 6.3-grade point is also a plus. You will also need a letter of recommendation and a good statement of purpose.



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Get a Student Visa and Apply for Scholarships

The cost of studying in the UK including all the costs comes to about £11,000 each year which translates to around INR 9,50,000. The costs may vary depending upon the course and the place but the average costs are mentioned. The cost for the premium universities like Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial College of London can go as much as £30,000 which is about INR 27,00,000.

For the visa, all the documents required are put up on the embassy website which usually includes the Passport, photos, the University Admit, and the UK address. You need to get a medical certificate ruling you tuberculosis-free.

The visa application fee is £348 and there is a healthcare charge of £400 per year which shows that you are medically fit.

Once your identity is confirmed, then they can decide to grant you a Student Route Visa (previously known as Tier-4 Visa). Before Brexit, the Student Route visa was valid till the duration of the course plus 4 months after the completion of the courses. For shorter courses which last about 6 months, there is the short term study visa, which is valid for 6 months and can be extended to about 11 months.


Graduate Immigration Route (GIR)

Post-Brexit, a new route called Graduate Immigration Route (GIR), which was announced on 19th September 2019, would allow students to stay in the UK for up to 2 years. The route is a one-time extension, which will come into effect in Summer 2021. This extension will open up the UK job market for the students with no restriction on the kind of job that students are allowed to take up. The route is still in progress and therefore, all the details are not yet available. This route is the reason we have seen an increase in the number of applications we receive for UK education from students.

There are almost 100 scholarships available for international students offering anything from a concession on the tuition fee to a full waiver also. Every department of study in the UK has its own Scholarships, so depending upon your field of study you can apply for the scholarship in advance.


Get the required funds to finance your UK education

Before GIR, the limited post-study work permit period deterred the lenders from approving education loans for the UK. However, since the route will give the students a fair chance to earn in pounds and repay the loan, the lenders have relaxed their stance on the same. There are both secured education loans and unsecured education loan options available to the students. With appropriate collateral, students can borrow up to INR 1.5 crore. While applying for an unsecured education loan, students can expect to get up to INR 40 lakhs as a loan. To know if you are eligible for a loan to study in the UK, just check here.


Working While Studying

It is very easy for students to find an internship. Students of Student Route (previously known as Tier-4) Visa can work for up to 20 hours per week and full time during Christmas and can earn about 300 to 500 pounds a month. An internship will not only provide money but will also help to improve your resume.

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Getting Employed

All the biggest companies in the world have their offices across the United Kingdom. After completion of a degree, the UK welcomes international students to work there. Students can apply for a job of their liking. The visa requirement for permanent working in the UK is a Tier-2 Visa.
More than 7,000 international students switch from the Student Route (Tier-4) Visa to a Tier-2 Work Visa every year. According to the current set of rules, students have to wait until they get their degree to apply for a Tier-2 visa.

As per the new set of rules, students can apply for the Tier-2 visa as soon as they complete their course. This set of rules are set to start on 11th January 2018. A Tier-2 visa is a work visa that allows the visa holder to work in the United Kingdom.

Apart from this, the UK has a Tier-1 Visa which allows international students to set up a business and is the graduate entrepreneur visa.

The Tier-5 is a work visa for Tier-4 student visa holders to undergo professional training or work experience.

To know more about UK Visa Process, click here.


Becoming a Permanent Resident

Becoming a permanent resident for international students is securing the “indefinite leave to remain (ILR) Visa”. After 5 years of completing a graduate job, a person can apply for the ILR. A stable income along with a full-time job, good moral conduct with no criminal record will help in securing the ILR visa. People also have to pass the Knowledge of Life in the UK test and a recognized English Language test. The entire process of obtaining the ILR visa can take up to 6 months. 

For the ILR the following details are collected: 

  • list items A Digital photo
  • list items Digital prints of all the 10 fingers
  • list items Signature
  • list items Name
  • list items Date and Place of Birth
  • list items Present Immigration Status
  • list items Present Studying or Working Status

How To Become a Citizen of the UK?

After 2016, applicants need to make a minimum of £35,000 per year after being on a Tier-2 Visa for 5 years. These numbers may change every year. 

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Becoming a Citizen

After a year of securing the ILR and spending more than 5 years in the UK, a person can apply for British citizenship. With citizenship, people can enjoy all the benefits of a UK citizen in healthcare and the job sector. 


How can I get PR for UK after a student visa?

To get PR in the UK, one needs to demonstrate stable income along with a full-time job and good moral conduct. For a strong CV and to boost his/her employment prospects, the student should work while learning through internships. Upon finishing their studies, they should get a full-time job. After 5 years of working, one can apply for the ‘indefinite leave to remain’ ILR Visa which gives them the ‘permanent resident’ status. They will also be required to pass the Knowledge of Life in the UK test and a recognized English Language test.

How many year’s visa does the UK give for students?

As per the announcement made in September 2019 post-Brexit, the Student Route (previously known as Tier-4) Visa will be extended till the duration of the course. Students can apply for a 2-year extension under the Graduate Immigration Route (GIR) to stay and work in the UK. The short-term study visa is for shorter courses which is valid for 6 months and can be extended for 11 months.

Can I stay in the UK after my studies?

Post-Brexit, an announcement was made in September 2019 that foreign undergraduate, master’s students, and postdoctoral students are allowed to apply for a two-year extension under the Graduate Immigration Route (GIR). After the GIR extension ends, they can apply for the Tier-2 visa which allows them to work permanently in the UK. It is valid for 5 years and 14 days. Post-completion of this period, one can apply for permanent residence in the country.

What is the UK equivalent of a green card?

The UK equivalent of Green Card is the Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which allows one to attain the status of ‘permanent resident of the UK’.

Who is eligible for permanent residence in the UK?

One who has worked for five years in the UK can apply for the ILR. A full-time job, stable income, and good moral conduct with zero criminal records will elevate one’s chances of getting an ILR visa. One also has to pass the Knowledge of Life in the UK test and a recognized English Language test.

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