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International Graduates Scheme - IGS


On 30 June 2008 HSMP was replaced throughout the world by the Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa (part of the UK Points Based System). The below information is provided purely for historical purposes.

On 1 May 2007 the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme (SEGS) was replaced with the International Graduates Scheme (IGS).

The International Graduates Scheme grants the right to work in the UK for one year to those who successfully complete one of the following courses in the UK: At any time during this one-year period, you are able to switch into Work Permit, HSMP, Business, Innovator or Student status without having to leave the UK. Please note that if you qualify for HSMP then it is a good idea to get this while you can. It is also worth remembering that earnings points claims can be made for the period prior to becoming a student if you have obtained your qualification within the most recent 12 months at the time of applying for HSMP.

How do I know if the institution is ‘recognised’ or ‘listed’?

The UK authorities recognise those institutions that can offer degrees by virtue of their own degree awarding powers (recognised bodies) or those powers of another institution (listed bodies). A full list of recognised and listed UK further and higher education institutions is available on the Department for Education and Skills website at

What if I have my results, but have not graduated yet?

Applicants can apply for IGS before they are issued with their degree certificate. If they do not have a degree certificate, they can provide a letter from their institution confirming that they have completed the course at the required level.

What type of work can I do?

There are no restrictions on the type of work you can do as an IGS participant.

How long can I stay in the UK under the scheme?

You can be granted a maximum of 12 months of leave as an IGS participant.

If you spend time outside the United Kingdom during that period you will not be eligible for any further grant of leave to make up this time.

Can my dependants also stay in the UK?

Spouses, unmarried partners, civil partners and children who are already in the UK as the dependants of students are eligible to switch in line with the IGS applicant.

If dependants are applying from abroad, then entry clearance is mandatory.

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