If you are a European Economic Area national (EEA) you are eligible to work in the UK without a work permit and if you are the spouse or child of an EEA national living in the UK you can also work in this country. Member countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Iceland*, Liechtenstein*, Norway*, Switzerland**.

* These countries are in the EEA, but are not members of the European Union.
** Switzerland is not in EEA, but an international treaty means that from 1 June 2002 Swiss nationals have a similar right to live in the UK as EEA nationals.

Permission to work after your studies for non EEA Nationals

There have been a number of changes to the Points Based System and it is essential that before applying for employment in the UK to check the current situation.

 Tier 1 Post Study Work - This Scheme will be closed from April 2012

  • This category allows students who have successfully completed certain courses in the UK, to stay in the UK for up to 24 months in order to work.
  • To successfully make an application you must score 75 points for certain attributes plus an additional 20 points for English language competence and maintenance. 

Further information is available from the UK Borders Agency website and support for the application process is available on the UKCISA  website.

Tier 2 – Skilled Worker 

  • Allows skilled individuals, with a job offer, to come to the UK to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker.
  • Before you apply under the skilled worker category (Tier 2 General), you must have:
    • a sponsor; and
    • a valid certificate of sponsorship
  • You must score at least 50 points for attributes (sponsorship, qualifications and future expected earnings), ten points for English language and ten points for the maintenance requirement (funds).

There is a published list of sponsors on the UKBA website of organisations who are able  to recruit international graduates.  This can be found under Related documents on the right hand side of the Migrant Sponsorship page.

Further information and guidance

Work abroad or going home?

Many international students wish to return home after graduation or seek employment in countries other than the UK. The resources listed will provide information and advice.

  • Country specific employment guides - Prospects UK produces a range of country specific employment guides to help you take the first steps in finding relevant employment in various countries worldwide, including China, Japan, Kenya, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.
  • Prospects website - for vacancies, placements and work experience opportunities.
  • GoinGlobal - career and employment resources include worldwide employment, internships, industry profiles and country-specific career information. Information also includes: work permits, visa regulations, CV writing, employment trends, salary ranges, networking groups and worldwide job listings.
  • FutureHub, NTU's vacancies and events portal for overseas opportunities and workshops

For information on topics such as self-assessment, applications, interviews, please use the relevant sections of the site.


A student at a careers fair