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Graduate Visa

The Graduate Visa was introduced on 1 July 2021, it allows international students who have completed an eligible UK degree in summer 2021 to stay in the UK to work, or look for work, for two years (three years for those being awarded doctorates), after they have completed their studies.

Whilst on the Graduate Visa route you can undertake roles at any skill level and do not need to satisfy any minimum salary requirement.  You are also able to switch jobs.


  • • You are applying from within the UK and have valid leave as a student/tier 4 student

    • You have successfully completed a UK degree, or other eligible course

    • You have studied at a higher education provider which is a student sponsor with a track record of compliance

    • You have held permission as a student, which was granted to study the relevant qualification in the UK, for a minimum period of time

    • You have not previously held permission on the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES), or the graduate route

    • You do not fall for refusal on grounds of suitability

  • A UK bachelor’s degree or postgraduate level, or a professional course requiring study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above, in a profession with reserved activities that is regulated by UK law or UK public authority.

    You can also apply if you completed any of the following:

    • A law conversion course approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

    • The Legal Practice Course in England and Wales, the Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland, or a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland

    • The Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland

    • A foundation programme in medicine or dentistry

    • A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

    • A Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)

  • The minimum period of study for the Graduate Visa is at least 12 months or the full length of your course, whichever is shorter. Permitted 'study abroad' activities (i.e. activities that need to be undertaken overseas as part of a course) or time spent overseas during permitted breaks from study, such as during official vacation periods, or at the weekend can be included in the minimum period.

    The minimum period of study can be undertaken on more than one Tier 4/Student Visa if granted to study the same qualification at the university.

    If you switch to a student visa from another immigration category during your course, you would not be eligible for a graduate visa unless you will have studied for the minimum required time.

  • You will need to provide a letter of consent from the sponsor organisation to support the Graduate Visa application.

  • Concessions were put in place owing to the pandemic. Students who undertook a period of remote study will still be able to apply for the graduate route, as long as the eligibility requirements are met. You will need to have been in the UK by a certain date depending on the course and your circumstances.

    You can count any time spent studying outside the UK between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2022 as time spent studying in the UK. Your Student Visa or Tier 4 Visa was for 12 months or less.

    You can apply if either of the following are true:

    • You started your course before 21 June 2021 and you entered the UK on a Student Visa on or before 27 September 2021

    • You started your course between 21 June 2021 and 30 June 2022 and you entered the UK on a Student Visa on or before 30 June 2022

  • No

  • If you have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree and successfully applied under the Graduate Visa route you will be permitted to stay in the UK for two years. The doctoral students are able to stay in the UK for three years.

  • No

  • No

  • No, however you can switch to an eligible visa category.

  • New dependents are not permitted to join you, except where a dependent child is born in the UK during a period of student or graduate leave.

    Family members who already have permission to stay in the UK, as your dependents, will be able to extend their stay when you apply for the Graduate Visa Route.

  • Students who completed their studies in early 2021 and whose visas expire before 1 July 2021 will not be eligible under the visa route.

  • • Home Office fee: £715

    • Immigration health surcharge: £624 per year of leave in the UK

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