Every student holding a Tier 4 general visa is in quest of an alternative option to extend his or her permit. Ideally, there are four options available to individuals.
Alternative#1: The Tier 2 Visa
Taking a full-time job after completing your higher studies or graduation is the best option in any circumstances. And, doing so especially when your Tier 4 student visa is going to expire will be the best decision ever.
Your initial visa was granted for a span of 3 years, and you had the option for extension, but it couldn’t cross the six-year mark. So, the wisest option here is to submit the form of ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) after completing 5 years.
However, your employer must be a holder of the Tier 2 sponsor license and can provide you with a sponsorship certificate. Also, your offered job as a pass out must necessitate specific skill levels with a pay scale of £20,800 or above depending on your designation.
Applying within the United Kingdom also compels you for a demonstration of an undergraduate or postgraduate certification. Or, if applicable, you can also provide the accreditation of the PGDE (that is, Professional Graduate Diploma of Education). If none of these cases is pertinent to your situation, then applying for the visa from abroad is another viable option.
Alternative#2: Graduate Entrepreneur Visa – Tier 1
Having an innovative and credible business idea along with a genuine entrepreneurial spirit is essential if you want this visa to stay longer in the United Kingdom. The initial permit is usually granted for a year that one can extend for another 12 months.
After this, graduate entrepreneurs can switch to either Tier 1 visa by investing £50,000 or Tier 2 by exempting themselves from the test of Labour market.
Applying this visa requires the following degree certificates:
- Bachelor’s credential from a recognised UK university
- Master’s or PhD from an affiliated UK institution
- Recommendation from a well-known organisation that offers higher education
- Endorsement from the Sirius program, that is, the UK Trade & Investment
However, there’s a limitation to the number of graduates the HEIs or the Higher Education Institutions can recommend. As a result, those colleges conduct competitions as a part of their business plan. In the 2015-16 session, universities set this record:
- General endorsements of 1900 positions for graduates from all fields
- 100 places allocated to the eminent Sirius program
Maintenance funds and English skill for the afore-mentioned visa categories:
It’s a mandatory requirement to display savings of £945 in your account for a continuous period of 90 days. However, in the 1st case, having an A-rated sponsor will also do. Just make sure you provide a sponsorship certificate mentioning that your employer will support your accommodation in that first month.
Applicants also have to prove their English proficiency. A UG or PG certificate can act as an appropriate proof for the same.
Alternative#3: The Tier 1 Entrepreneurship
It’s a substitute for the Alternative#2. You can consider it as your next step subsequent to the Graduate Entrepreneurship Visa. As per the rules, you’ll initially have 3 years and an extension right of 2 years. Subsequently, you can opt for the ILR.
These do not necessitate an institutional endorsement. Nonetheless, ensure you’ve secure funding from any of the approved UK entrepreneurial sources. Choose between the two viable categories – investing £50,000, otherwise a sum of £200,000. However, the expiry of Tier 4 permit enables you to opt for this permit from within the boundaries of the UK by investing £50,000.
The fund maintenance criteria and English proficiency skills are same as the Altermative#2, except the fees. While you had to pay £1890 for Graduate Entrepreneurship permit from overseas, here, you’d pay £3,310.
Alternative#4: Tier 4 Student visa
You may apply for the student visa one more time. In such circumstances, ensure to demonstrate to the officials your academic progression that shows a higher qualification degree in line.
Contrarily, if that new course and your old study programme have an equivalent significance, the new program must be related to it. Or, combining your two courses must show the consulates your specific career aspirations.
Alternative#5: Dependent Visa
Switching to dependent visa from student visa is a viable option to prolong your stay in the United Kingdom. This is a relevant alternative if your friend or partner holds Tier 1 or, maybe, Tier 2 entry permit. However, in case your counterpart is extending his/her stay with the help of a dependent visa, then you cannot apply for it as well to tag along with your partner.
So, if your visa expiry is nearing soon, there is nothing to be worried about. Choose the one that best suits your interests.