Extended stay for graduates
On 4th March 2021, the government announced that the Graduate Visa Route will open for applications on 1st July 2021. This is a welcome announcement as it offers job opportunities for graduates and employers can now have access to this new pool of talent.
The Graduate Route is for international students holding a valid Student or Tier 4 visa. They must complete a UK degree or an eligible course of study by the end of this academic year. This visa will allow successful applicants to remain in the UK to work or look for work, for two years after completing their studies.
|Sponsorship||The Graduate Route is an unsponsored route. This means that applicants will not need a job offer or a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) in order to be eligible.
Successful applicants will be permitted to look for work and can work flexibly once a job has been secured. They will be able to undertake roles at any skill level and will not need to satisfy any minimum salary requirement. Successful applicants will also be able to switch jobs.
|Validity||Successful applicants a bachelor’s or master’s degree will be able to stay in the UK for two years. Doctoral students will be able to stay in the UK for three years.|
|Extensions||This route does not allow you to extend permission to stay beyond the two years. If successful applicants secure employment with a sponsored entity, you can switch to the Skilled Worker route while in the UK.|
|Settlement||The Graduate Route will not lead directly to settlement.|
|Switching visas||Successful applicants will be able to extend your stay by switching into other work-based routes, such as the Skilled Worker route, the Global Talent route and the Innovator route, all of which can lead to settlement, if you meet the criteria.|
|Dependents||Dependents of successful applicants already in the UK will be able to extend their stay for the same time period. New dependents will not be permitted on this route, unless a dependent child is born in the UK during a period of Student or Tier 4 visa.|
Students will be able to apply for the Graduate Route when they successfully complete a degree at UK bachelor’s 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.
COVID-19 : Exceptional consideration
The Home Office will be considering applications for international students who have been unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic. Students who returned home during the lockdown but have been distance learning outside of the UK will be considered under these circumstances on a case-by-case basis:
Please contact us for further clarification and to check that you meet the eligibility criteria.
International students whose leave expires before 1st July 2021, will not be eligible for the Graduate Visa Route. However, if you fall into this category you may qualify to switch into another immigration route, such as the Skilled Worker route, Start-up route, Innovator route or Global Talent route. Please contact us for further information and to discuss your visa options.
Please contact us if you would like further information or assistance in applying for this visa.