Announcement on UK Post Study Visas.

The UK Home Secretary Theresa May made the following announcement this afternoon.

The main impact of these changes will be felt by private colleges that offer courses below the degree level. From an MBA perspective, the main announcements are :-

i. Students will now have to show evidence of financial means to study (this does not affect the Cambridge MBA because we already ask all offer candidates to demonstrate that they are able to fund the tuition and living expenses before we send an unconditional offer letter).

ii. Tightening English language requirements (this will not affect the Cambridge MBA because our existing English requirements are already above the ones being implemented).

iii. overall time a student can hold a visa will be limited to five years for post-graduates (this does not affect the Cambridge MBA because we are a one-year program).

iv. dependents permitted to accompany post-graduate students only (as the Cambridge MBA is a post-graduate course, this should mean no change to our students).

v. closure of the Post Study Work (PSW) visa from April 2012, but graduates with an offer of a skilled job from a sponsoring employer in Tier 2 of the points based system will be able to stay to work.

Point (v) is the biggest change that will have an impact on non-EU candidates who wish to study in the UK. Currently, students can apply for a PSW visa that gives them the right to stay in the UK for two years after graduation to look for a job. The announcement last week cut that period to six months, after which PSW visa holders had to move to a Tier 2 visa.

However, the impact of closing the PSW visa route might not be as large as the inevitable media attention might suggest. An non-EU MBA student enrolled in a 12-month program, such as the Cambridge MBA, would have a visa valid for 16 months anyway. And from our observations, most non-EU students who ultimately work in the UK do so by finding a job within 3 months after graduation.

As with most of these announcements, the devil is in the details and we will have to wait to examine the fine print when it is eventually published. As of the time of writing, the UK Border Agency has yet to post the details on their website so I will keep you posted (hopefully the hotels that I will be staying in in Spain have reliable Wifi).

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24 Responses to Announcement on UK Post Study Visas.

  1. Hi Conrad

    I wanted some clarification regarding the new PSW visa regulations coming into effect in 2012. I am in the process of applying at Cambridge for Fall 2011. Does this mean that the visa issued to me this year will have the PSW allowed for 2 years. Or will the change next year apply retrospectively for all valid visas ie those issued this year


  2. Prasad

    The PSW will be closed from April 2012. Thereafter, any non-EU graduate who wants to work in the UK will have to do so under Tier 2, where they will have to get an employer to sponsor them for that visa.

    I am not an immigration solicitor and I don’t feel confident enough to give you specific advice as to whether you would be in a position to apply for a PSW before April 2012.

  3. Hi Conrad,
    With this announcement, are there any changes to what is mentioned on the website regarding work privileges for spouses accompanying MBA students?

    “At Cambridge Judge Business School we provide support where we can to help families settle in. In most cases spouses find work easily here and do not need a work permit if they are accompanying a husband or wife who is studying in the UK.”


  4. Swapnil

    Thanks for pointing this out. While the new visa regulations would allow dependents of our students to work legally in the UK during the time of study, prospective candidates and their partners should check with the latest set of UK Border Agency regulations to see what conditions they have to comply with in order for partners to work or study in the UK. Even if a partner is legally allowed to work in the UK, prospective candidates should not assume that their partner will be able to find a job in the UK, and they should definitely not make this assumption when planning their budget for the MBA.

    We will amend our website to provide this level of detail.

    Kind regards

    Conrad Chua

  5. There is no devil in the details.UK is virtually closed for immigration.I incurred a huge debt pursuing UK MBA.I and most of my friends from non-EU did not land any jobs and had to go back to our respective countries even though we had PSW.The worst part the rules were chanved 6 times in 18 months.I request all future non-EU students not to consider studying in UK anymore,because the rule changes are the surprise package.Stop publishing lies-students landing jobs 3 months from graduation during recession.Is this article some kind of a joke???
    The fees for non-EU students is three times and they get a raw deal when it comes to work permits.Another advertising gimmick has started to cheat another group of gullible non-EU students.

    • Sashi

      I am sorry to hear about your experiences, which is why on the Cambridge MBA, we are very careful to manage candidates’ career and financial expectations, regardless of whether they are EU or non-EU students. For your information, there is no distinction in fees between EU and non-EU students on the Cambridge MBA, and 88% of the most recent class were employed within 3 months of graduation. Many of them switched sectors, job functions or geographies. You can read more on our website :-

      Conrad Chua
      Head MBA Admissions
      Cambridge Judge Business School

  6. I believe that the new regulations have a rather positive than negative effect on both the MBA candidates and the universities.

    The candidates will have to reassess their selection process while and should not compromise neither quality nor reputation of the providing institution. They will also have to realize that settling in the UK is not the evitable happy ending of an MBA. They will have to work harder to be be more employable. For example : research what industries have the highest employee turn-over in the UK? What are the trends of new developing businesses ? Chose your thesis from one of those topics or industries and you are already one step ahead.

    Universities will have to allocate bigger budgets towards building better relations with employers and alumni alike,They will have to work on providing short-term paid internships as adaptability is a main competency that employers consider.Big companies participate in MBA career fairs not only for the sole pursue of recruiting but also to assert their global image as attractors of best talent.For example if a company X participates in a career fair , Does the university ask for the companys’ vacant positions in in advance to direct the graduates and monitor the performance of the participating company?

    Personally,The new regulations will not stop me from applying for an MBA in the UK as i plan to do next year but for the above reasons i will only consider a top ranked MBA program . And If i don’t find a job in the uk its not the end of the world . Its the beginning of so many new opportunities.

    Finally one has to give credit for this blog and for the transparency and responsibility of judge business school for sharing and discussing this information ,something that many other universities have not shared in such detail and clarity.Thank you conard

  7. how can i apply for mba in cambridge? I am graduate student. And please let me know about the total soon as possible

  8. Conrad, I have planned to do my MBA in the UK and during this crisis sitution in the UK, whether it is wise to take such a decision and can I able to work during the course as well as any chance to get a PSW visa. Whether spouse can accompany with me.

    • Ponnu

      I can’t tell you what to do. You will have to think about what work you want to do, why do you want to work in the UK, why you can’t do that right now without an MBA. Talk to some people you know about whether your work experience, plus an MBA, make you an attractive candidate for recruiters. If you do study in the UK, your spouse can accompany you but you should check the legal stuff to make sure that is indeed the case.

  9. Hi Conrad,

    I am Abhishek and I have an offer letter from a University in UK (London) for the course – MS in Performance Analysis of Sports. I know this is not your domain from what I see but I am sure you will have some clue about it. Please let me know of the job opportunities available for this course if I take it up and what kind of part time jobs could one do ? I am totally clueless.. So please help me out here..

  10. Hi Conrad,

    I am not a Cambridge Student but I am currently pursuing MBA in the UK. I am currently in my Dissertation now and the Dissertation submission deadline is 24th Feb 2012. This means we just have a few days over a month before the PSW cease deadline.

    Correct me if I am wrong – The new PSW rules apply to students who take admissions in UK universities after April 2012 or they apply to those students as well who are already in the UK, are studying and came in the UK before these changes to PSW rules were announced.

    I am really concerned. I am simultaneously doing an internship right now. I have an assurance from the company that I would get a job after I get my MBA degree, however, I would need a work visa of my own. The company is not ready to sponsor me as I am a fresher in Finance.

    PSW is utmost necessary for me. Kindly care to advise.

    Dnyanesh R Desai.

    • Dnyanesh

      Thanks for your comment but I am not a solicitor specialising in this field so I cannot provide any advice. I suggest that you speak to the career services in your university. If your university has an immigration solicitor or office, that would be another resource you should turn to.

      All the best.
      Conrad Chua

  11. Hi,
    Prospective students should be aware of the following clause:
    You should be able to apply for Tier 2 after graduation and this should not be too difficult as the employer does not need to carry a labour market test nor does the applicant come under the limits for Tier 2. The rules turn detrimental if the applicant receives a promotion for example, in that case he or she has to undergo a labour market test while applying for a new Tier 2. This is completely unfair on the part of the government and something that has not been publicised appropriately.

  12. I have 7 yr+ exp of semiconductor research, Sales & marketing experience of high value engineering products(OEM from EU & US..etc) to India A&D market . Now I wish to do MBA from UK.My purpose is to have global exposure for more about international business & management. I may have chance to join any one of those companies who deals with India market. But after this new PSW regulations , I have to rethink my plan. but I have confidence to create & develop business for EU engineering companies in A&D sector of India.
    Pl advise on my move for MBA from UK.

  13. Hi Conrad,

    I am a prospective applicant for MBA 2012 intake. I have a small query about what you have mentioned in the blog. You have mentioned that “An non-EU MBA student enrolled in a 12-month program, such as the Cambridge MBA, would have a visa valid for 16 months anyway”. And as i understand, i will able to apply for a PSW for 6 months after my student visa expires. Does that mean that, a student who has enrolled to Cambridge MBA will have 4 + 6 i.e. 10 months to find a sponser who can sponser the tier-2 visa?

    I am sorry, this is just a confusion that i had in my mind. Pls. do let me know if you have know any information on my above query.

    Thanks in advance.


    • Deepak

      There is no PSW visa anymore. The student visa is typically the length of the course (12 months) plus 4 months. A non-EU student has to accept a job offer during that time if they want to work in the UK after their MBA.

      Conrad Chua
      Head MBA Admissions.

  14. The changes to PSW VISA applies to the students who came here even before that rules. The rule cannot take away the earlier promises.This is the judgement of the high court in the HSMP. i AM OF THE VIEW THAT the changes to the students who came before april 6 is illegal and void. If students organise and file a judicial review the court will be in favour of students.