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- Visas and immigration
- Work in the UK
A Graduate visa gives you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years after successfully completing a course in the UK.
You must be in the UK when you apply.
You can apply for a Graduate visa if all of the following are true:
- you’re in the UK
- your current visa is a Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
- you studied a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or other eligible course for a minimum period of time with your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
- your education provider (such as your university or college) has told the Home Office you’ve successfully completed your course
You can ask your education provider if you’re not sure whether they’ve told the Home Office you’ve successfully completed your course.
Check if your course is eligible and how long you need to have studied in the UK .
If you’re not eligible for a Graduate visa, you may be eligible for another type of visa to stay in the UK .
How long you can stay
A Graduate visa lasts for 2 years. If you have a PHD or other doctoral qualification, it will last for 3 years.
Your visa will start from the day your application is approved.
If you want to stay longer in the UK
You cannot extend your Graduate visa. However, you may be able to switch to a different visa, for example a Skilled Worker visa .
Check you can apply for another type of visa to stay in the UK .
How to apply
You must apply online .
Your partner and children can also apply to stay in the UK if they are eligible.
When to apply
You must apply before your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa expires.
You can apply after your education provider (such as your university or college) has told the Home Office that you’ve successfully completed the course you took with your Student or Tier 4 (General) student visa. You do not have to wait until you’ve graduated or have been given a certificate.
As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide your documents.
Your application may take longer if you need an appointment to do this. You’ll find out if you need one when you start your application.
Getting a decision
Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 8 weeks.
You can stay in the UK while you wait for a decision.
How much it costs
When you apply for a Graduate visa, you’ll need to:
- pay the £822 application fee
- pay the healthcare surcharge - this is usually £624 for each year you’ll be in the UK
Check how much it will cost .
If you work in public sector healthcare
If you’re a doctor or nurse, or you work in health or adult social care, check if you’re eligible to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa instead. It’s cheaper to apply for and you do not need to pay the annual immigration health surcharge.
If you get a job in public sector healthcare after you have paid the healthcare surcharge, you may be able to get a refund .
What you can and cannot do
With a Graduate visa you can:
- work in most jobs
- look for work
- be self-employed
- continue living in the UK with your partner and children , if they’re eligible
- do voluntary work
- travel abroad and return to the UK
- apply for most benefits ( public funds ), or the State Pension
- work as a professional sportsperson
If your application is successful, you’ll get a full list of what you can and cannot do with a Graduate visa.
Studying with a Graduate visa
You can only study with a Graduate visa if your chosen course is not eligible for a Student visa . If your course is eligible for a Student visa, you can extend your Student visa instead.
You may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if you’re studying or researching sensitive topics.
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Graduate visa (post-study)
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Permission to stay under the Graduate route will enable international students to work or look for work after their studies for 2 years, or 3 years for PhD students. The work can be in any sector and at any level without any minimum salary requirements or the need for visa sponsorship.
Students studying on a Tier 4/Student visa will need to make an application in the UK to be granted permission under the route after successful completion of their degree. There are specific eligibility requirements so you are advised to read the information on this page in full.
It is possible to work full-time on your Tier 4/Student visa after you have completed your course and whilst it remains valid, but with some restrictions on the type of work you can do. Information is outlined on our Working on a student visa webpage.
To be eligible to apply for a Graduate visa, you will need to:
- hold a current Tier 4/Student visa;
Not all courses at Cambridge are eligible for student visa sponsorship and therefore will not be eligible for the Graduate route. This includes most part-time taught courses which are supported under the visitor route. PhD graduates with permission under the Doctorate Extension Scheme are not eligible to apply for a Graduate visa.
- have studied a Bachelors, Masters, PGCE, or PhD at Cambridge;
Advanced Diploma, and other non-degree awarding qualifications except the PGCE, are not eligible to apply for a Graduate visa.
- have successfully completed your degree;
You are considered to have successfully completed your degree for the purpose of applying for the Graduate visa once you have received your final results and your record is updated to reflect completion. It does not mean you need to have attended a graduation ceremony. Completion for PhD students is unconditional approval, which is normally submission of the hardbound thesis.
You need to have completed the degree for which your Tier 4/Student visa was granted, unless it is a change permitted under student visa policy. Students who have a Tier 4/Student visa for a four year Integrated Masters course are eligible to apply for the Graduate visa if they successfully complete their studies and exit with the Bachelors qualification and will not be proceeding to the fourth year.
Following the update of your student record to reflect completion, you will need to wait until you have received an email from the International Student Office confirming UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has been notified of your successful completion before you can apply for the Graduate visa. Prior to the International Student Office notifying UKVI, your record will be reviewed to confirm you still hold a valid Tier 4/Student visa. Also see the section on 'When can I apply?'.
Masters students who do not complete all the required assessment (i.e. final submission or exam) by the original end date in their CAS should contact the International Student Office to check whether they are still eligible for the Graduate visa as this may depend on whether final results will be received prior to their current visa expiry.
- have studied for a minimum period of time in the UK on a Tier 4/Student visa;
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 are 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 as outlined above on the most recent Tier 4/Student visa prior to completion. If you are switching from another immigration category to start your studies at Cambridge, you can include the time whilst the application is pending in the minimum study period.
- provide a letter of consent if financially sponsored by a Government or international scholarship agency;
If in the 12 months before the date of application you have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship by a Government or international scholarship agency covering fees and living costs for study in the UK, you must provide a letter of consent from the sponsor organisation to support the application.
- apply in the UK within the validity of your current Tier 4/Student visa.
You can only apply for the Graduate visa from within the UK, and should do so prior to your current Tier 4/Student visa expiring following the email from the International Student Office confirming your successful course completion has been reported to UKVI. Read the information for students on the marking and assessment boycott to understand the potential implications of a delay to receiving confirmation of successful course completion and eligibility for the Graduate visa.
Permission under the Graduate route will be granted subject to the following conditions:
- any work in the UK (including paid and unpaid, self-employment, engaging in business or any professional activity) is permitted. The only restriction is a prohibition on working as a professional sportsperson or coach;
- study is restricted on this visa and is only permitted on courses that would not meet the requirements for student visa sponsorship. If you are continuing to further study at Cambridge, or at another institution, and plan to apply for the Graduate visa, you should first check whether it will be possible for you to study on your chosen course under this visa;
- no access to public funds.
The permission granted under the Graduate route, 2 years for undergraduate and Masters students and 3 years for PhD students, will start from when the decision is made on the application.
It is not possible to extend your permission under the Graduate route once granted. From the Graduate route, you would be able to switch to a Skilled Worker visa from within the UK if you are offered a suitable job with an employer who holds a sponsor licence.
It is only possible to be granted permission under the Graduate route once. You cannot apply again, for example, if you were to undertake another course of study.
Whilst an application for the Graduate visa is pending, the working conditions of your student visa will continue to apply. The only exception to this is if you applied for your current student visa after 6 April 2022, in which case you are able to start a full-time permanent vacancy once you have successfully completed your course and submitted the new Graduate visa application. This is otherwise not possible as a student visa does not permit filling a full-time permanent vacancy. Students on a part-time student visa are not permitted to work until they have obtained the Graduate visa.
You should only make your application once the University has notified UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that you have successfully completed your degree. This is in accordance with the Graduate route visa policy. The International Student Office will make this report to UKVI after you have received your final results and your University record has been updated to reflect completion. Please note it can take several weeks after you have received your results for your University record to be updated. The International Student Office is not directly involved in the process of updating student records so we request that you do not contact our office to ask when this will happen unless it is close to your current visa expiry date. The International Student Office will confirm to you when the report has been made to UKVI and you will receive this by email to the email address on your student record. Do not submit your Graduate visa application until you have received this email .
You will need to apply in the UK whilst your current Tier 4/Student visa is still valid and cannot travel overseas until you have received the outcome of your application, and your new BRP if applicable (see section below titled eVisa).
If your visa expires after you have applied to the Graduate route, you will be permitted to remain in the UK whilst your application is being considered under the conditions of your Tier 4/Student permission until you have received the outcome of your Graduate visa application.
The visa application fee is £822. In addition, the application will also require you to pay the immigration health surcharge and this is currently charged at £624 per year the visa will be granted (£1,248 for 2 years and, for PhD students, £1872 for 3 years). The government has also announced that the immigration health surcharge costs will increase to £1035 per year from January 2024 - the exact date is to be confirmed.
You make an application online .
As part of the application you will need to confirm your identity. Most applicants will be able to do this using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app. Once you have created a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account, you will be asked to download the app to a smart phone. The app will be used to confirm your identity by scanning your BRP, or if you are an EEA or Swiss national by scanning your passport. You will be given instructions on how to use the app in the application. It is free and compatible with Android phones and iPhone 7 or newer models. If you do not own a compatible phone, you can use the app from a friend’s mobile phone as no information is stored on the phone or app after you close it.
If you cannot use the app, you will need to book an in-person appointment for biometric enrolment. This includes students who applied for their current student visa in the UK and it was issued as a digital status with no BRP (this does not apply to EEA and Swiss nationals who can use their passport with the app instead of a BRP).
As part of the application:
- You will need your passport and current Tier4/Student BRP to apply.
- You will need to know the CAS number you used to support your Tier 4/student visa application. This will be included in the email notification sent to you once the successful completion of your degree has been reported to UKVI.
- You will need a letter of consent if you have been financially sponsored for your studies by a Government or international scholarship agency.
- There will be no requirement to provide financial evidence with the application.
The advertised decision timeframe is 8 weeks from when you submit your application.
Please note that once you have made your application, you cannot travel overseas until you have been notified of the decision.
When granted, the visa will be issued as a digital status, also called an eVisa.
The digital status will enable you to prove your right to live and work in the UK online .
Visa nationals (i.e. nationalities who require entry clearance prior to travel to the UK as a visitor) will also be issued a new Biometric Resident Permit (BRP). It is likely this will need to be shown in order to travel to the UK whilst your Graduate visa is valid. Visa nationals are therefore advised to wait to receive the new BRP once the visa has been granted before travelling overseas.
If you cannot use the app as part of the application, and need to enrol your biometrics at an in-person appointment, you will also be issued a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
When you set up your UKVI account to apply for this visa you will use your BRP to verify your identity, unless you are an EEA or Swiss national. UKVI advises that once you have received your eVisa, you should sign back into your UKVI account using the information on your BRP but then change the main ‘sign-in’ document to your current passport. This is to ensure you can continue to access your UKVI account easily and should also ensure that you avoid unnecessary delays when travelling in and out of the UK. If you renew your passport, you should sign in and update these details in your UKVI account.
Dependant family members in the UK who already have immigration permission as a Tier 4 or Student dependant can apply for further permission to stay as a dependant under the Graduate route.
Children born in the UK do not need to have been granted a dependant visa under Tier 4 or the Student route but they must have been born in the UK during the student’s most recent Tier 4 or student visa.
Further information about dependant eligibility is outlined on the UKVI website .
Read the information on the UKVI webpages and their Graduate immigration route guide .
If you have any questions about the Graduate route contact the International Student Office.
Immigration rules and policy are subject to change. These webpages are updated as soon as possible following any changes but relevant pages of the Home Office website should be checked for the latest information. The International Student Office can only provide information and advise on current policy; it is not possible to speculate on future immigration changes or developments in relation to post-study visa options.
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Graduate Route: Stay in the UK
- Paolo Barbato
- 26 September 2023
IN THIS SECTION
As an international student in the UK, you’ll need to apply for permission to stay in the UK after you graduate. The Graduate Route offers student visa holders the opportunity to continue living and working in Britain after completing their studies, without the need to secure a job offer or employment sponsorship.
In this guide, we explain the key features of the Graduate Route, including what it allows you to do, the eligibility requirements and how to apply.
What is the UK graduate route?
The graduate route is for international students who have successfully completed a course of studies in the UK at degree level or above, and who wish to remain in the UK to work or look for work. It is a post-study employment visa aimed at recent overseas graduates to help these individuals obtain invaluable work experience and make important professional connections on successful completion of their undergraduate or postgraduate studies.
This is an unsponsored and flexible immigration route that will allow you to undertake work at any skill or salary level with any type of UK employer.
As the UK welcomes hundreds of thousands of high-potential overseas students to colleges and universities every year, the flexibility for many of these students to apply for work in the UK once they graduate is also designed to boost the UK economy. Once an individual has been granted leave under the graduate route, UK employers will be able to tap into a rich pool of global talent, without the costs and responsibilities associated with sponsorship.
What does the graduate route allow?
The graduate route provides international students who have been recently awarded a UK bachelor’s or postgraduate degree with the opportunity to stay on to work or look for work in the UK. The graduate route is also available to international students who have completed one of a limited number of professional qualifications at degree level or above.
As an unsponsored work route, eligible applicants on the graduate route will not first need the offer of a job from a UK employer, as they would on other work routes, such as the skilled worker route. Equally, on the grant of a graduate visa, successful visa-holders can undertake any type of employment, without the need for their job role to meet any minimum skill or salary requirements. As such, graduate visa-holders will be able to work flexibly, switch positions and employers, and develop their chosen careers in the UK.
If you are granted a graduate visa, you will be allowed to earn an income and gain work experience in a number of jobs across various industry sectors. Any partner or dependent children currently living with you in the UK will also be able to apply on this route.
How long can you stay in the UK under the graduate route?
The length of a visa on the graduate route will depend on your level of degree qualification when you apply. If you graduate with a UK bachelor’s degree, a graduate visa will be granted for 2 years. This also applies to applicants who have recently obtained a professional qualification at degree level or above. If you graduate with a PHD or other doctoral qualification, you will be granted leave on the graduate route for 3 years.
For dependants applying at the same time, their visa should be granted in line with yours.
Graduate route requirements
The graduate route is one of the most flexible work routes under the UK’s points-based system, with no requirement for sponsorship, nor to shows funds or meet an English language requirement as prescribed under other routes. As a successful graduate, you will have already met a financial and English language requirement on the student route.
However, as a points-based route, there are other requirements that must be met to be granted a visa on the graduate route. Under Appendix Graduate of the UK’s Immigration Rules, you will need to score a total of 70 points for the following three requirements:
- a successful completion requirement
- a qualification requirement
- a study in the UK requirement.
Successful completion requirement
Under the successful completion requirement, you must have:
been previously sponsored by a student sponsor which is a higher education provider with a track record of compliance at the date of your application on the graduate route successfully completed the course of study which was undertaken during your last grant of leave to study on the student route, and your student sponsor must have notified UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that you have successfully completed that course by the date of your application on the graduate route.
Under the qualification requirement, you must have successfully completed a course of study for which you have been or will be awarded a UK bachelor’s or postgraduate degree, or successfully completed one of the following relevant qualifications:
- an approved law conversion course in England and Wales
- the legal practice course for solicitors in England and Wales, the solicitors course in N.Ireland or Scotland’s diploma in professional legal practice
- the bar practice course in England and Wales or the bar course in N.Ireland
- a foundation programme in either medicine or dentistry
- a postgraduate certificate or diploma in education
- a course in a profession with reserved activities regulated by UK law or public authority requiring study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above (such as medical doctors, architects, lawyers, teachers and nurses).
Study in the UK requirement
Under the study in the UK requirement, you must have held permission as a student, which was granted to study the relevant qualification in the UK, for a minimum period of time. The relevant period of time will depend on the length of your course as follows:
if your course was for 12 months or less, you must have studied for the full duration of that course in the UK if your course was for 12 or more months, you must have studied in the UK on that course for at least 12 months.
However, there are certain exceptions under the rules in respect of distance learning during the coronavirus pandemic that may still apply to your period of study.
How to apply for the graduate route
To apply for leave to remain on the graduate route, you must complete an online application with UKVI prior to expiry of your existing student visa and still be in the UK. If you have previously been granted leave on this route, or under the Doctorate Extension Scheme, you will not be eligible to apply and your application will be rejected. You must also wait until your college or university has notified UKVI of completion of your course.
As part of your graduate application, you will need to prove your identity and pay the relevant fee. You may also need to re-enrol your biometrics. You will be told when you apply if you can use the ‘UK Immigration ID Check’ app or if you will need to schedule an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.
Graduate route application supporting documents
When applying for leave to remain on the graduate route, you will need a number of documents in support. These include a valid passport or other travel document proving your identity. You will also need your biometric residence permit (BRP), if you were given one after you applied for your student visa, together with your CAS reference number.
You do not need to wait until you have graduated or received your degree certificate to apply, although you will need your CAS number from your student visa. The number will have been sent by your approved higher education provider when you were offered a place on the course you completed under your student visa. If you cannot find this number, you should contact your education provider before starting your new visa application.
It is also worth noting that if you have, in the 12 months prior to your visa application, been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship by either a Government or international scholarship agency covering both your fees and living costs for study in the UK, you must provide written consent to your visa application from that Government or agency.
How much does it cost to apply for the graduate route?
The cost of applying for a visa on the graduate route is currently £822, both for a 2-year or 3-year visa. You must also pay an immigration health surcharge to access any healthcare services offered by the UK’s NHS. This is in addition to the visa application fee.
The application fee and full healthcare surcharge will need to be paid upfront when you apply for your visa, although the surcharge will be refunded if your application is refused.
How long does it take to get a visa on the graduate route?
As with many applications to switch from inside the UK, an application for a visa on the graduate visa can take up to 8 weeks to process. However, provided you apply prior to expiry of your student visa, if your existing grant of leave runs out during this time, you can stay in the UK until you receive a decision on your application from UKVI.
The processing times for applications can vary, depending on how you applied. If you proved your identity using the ID check app, the processing time will start when your supporting documents are uploaded online. If you attended an appointment at an UKVCAS service point, the processing time will start after this appointment has taken place.
You must not leave the UK or Common Travel Area (CTA) while you are waiting for your decision on the graduate route, where to do so will risk your application being treated as withdrawn. This also means that if your student visa expires during your waiting time, and you have travelled overseas, you will be unable to re-enter the UK. The CTA is an open borders area that comprises the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. If you need to travel and cannot wait 8 weeks, you may be able to pay for a faster decision.
Once you receive your decision from UKVI, and provided your application is approved, you will be granted an eVisa. Visa nationals will also be given a new physical BRP for use when travelling in and out of the UK. In either case, you will be able to use the online right to work service to generate a share code to prove your right to work to any UK employer.
Can you extend a graduate visa?
Having been granted leave to remain on the graduate route, for either 2 or 3 years, there will be no option to re-apply for further leave. This is because the graduate visa cannot be extended and does not provide a path to settlement. However, if you would like to stay on in the UK, you may be eligible to switch into a different immigration route.
In many cases, especially if you have established invaluable work experience and important professional connections, you may be able to find a sponsor on one of the many other work routes. For example, if you have the offer of a suitably skilled and salaried job, you may be able to apply for a visa on the skilled worker route. Unlike the graduate route, any partner or dependent children living overseas will be able to join you in the UK on this route.
The skilled worker route will also provide you and your family with a path to settlement in the UK, where skilled workers and their dependants can apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years on this route. Even though any time spent on the graduate route will not count towards the qualifying continuous residence requirement for settlement, the graduate route will provide you with a golden opportunity to find a UK sponsor and the offer of a job role that meets the minimum skill and salary requirements for a skilled worker visa.
Does the Graduate Route lead to indefinite leave to remain?
No, time spent in the UK under the Graduate Route does not count towards the residency requirement for UK ILR. The Graduate Route offers temporary permission to stay in the UK, and as such does not offer a direct path to UK settlement . If you intend to stay in the UK on a longer term basis, you could use your period of leave under the Graduate Route to switch into an immigration category which can lead to indefinite leave to remain, such as the Skilled Worker visa.
DavidsonMorris are UK immigration specialists. For advice and guidance on your options to remain in the UK after your studies, contact us .
Graduate route FAQs
What does graduate route mean.
The graduate route is a points-based immigration route aimed at international students wanting to work in the UK, or look for work, following the successful completion of a UK bachelor’s or postgraduate degree with an approved higher education provider.
Who is eligible for graduate route visa?
To be eligible to apply for a visa under the graduate route, you must be awarded a minimum of 70 points under the UK’s points-based system for a successful course completion, qualification and study in the UK requirement.
Are only 3% of UK employers using graduate route?
Research by the Higher Education Policy Institute has revealed that just 3% of UK employers have knowingly used the graduate route to employ overseas workers. This route therefore represents an important untapped source of global talent for UK businesses.
What is the graduate route for employers?
The graduate route is a flexible and unsponsored work route for recent overseas graduates in the UK who are looking for work. This provides UK employers with a pool of global talent, without the responsibilities of sponsoring migrant workers.
Last updated: 23 September 2023
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The Graduate route is for those who have a degree or other relevant qualification from an approved UK higher education provider. Your application does not need sponsorship or any endorsement by an employer or by your institution.
To apply you must have a UK degree or other relevant qualification that you received during your current period of Tier 4 or Student permission. Successful applicants are granted 2 years leave in the UK, and PhD graduates are granted 3 years.
The Graduate route is only open to those who have successfully completed their course and who have valid Student or Tier 4 permission when they apply.
The following information on the Graduate route is based on information published or updated by the Home Office:
- Appendix Graduate
- Graduate route Home Office guidance
Find out more about international graduates' experiences of finding employment in the UK after graduation.
Where, when, how to apply
The Graduate route has important conditions relating to where and when you can apply. Read through this guidance carefully so that you understand how to apply appropriately.
Where to apply
You can only apply in the UK. There is no provision to apply in your home country or in any other country other than the UK. If you are currently outside the UK with valid Tier 4 or Student permission, you will need to travel to the UK before it expires in order to apply under the Graduate route.
When to apply
You can travel and re-enter the UK at any time on your Tier 4 or Student leave before you apply under the Graduate route.
The Home Office's Student route caseworker guidance confirms this on page 90:
Students are able to travel outside of, and re-enter, the UK whilst they hold valid permission as a Student, including in the period after they have completed their course and still hold permission under the route.
Your window of opportunity for applying for the Graduate route is from the day your institution confirms your successful completion to you, until the end date of your current Student permission (or the expiry of your exceptional assurance, if applicable).
As long as you apply within this window, your Student permission is automatically extended until the outcome of your Graduate route application, even if its original expiry date has passed. This is a general principle of UK immigration law known as 3C leave .
You apply online. As part of the application you will need to scan your biometric residence permit (BRP) with the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app.
If you have difficulties with the application process, contact your sponsor institution. When you are ready to apply you will need to pay the immigration health surcharge and the application fee.
The application fee is £822 per applicant, whilst the immigration health surcharge is charged at £624 per year of leave granted.
It is important to note that you can only hold permission under the Graduate route once, so try to make sure that you consider your options in full before committing to the route.
Current immigration permission
To qualify for the Graduate route you must have current valid permission as a Student. You cannot switch to the Graduate route from any type of immigration permission other than Student or Tier 4.
Paragraph 6.2 of the Immigration Rules explains that "Student" means someone with permission under Tier 4 or under the Student route. Your Student permission must be sponsored by a Higher Education provider which is listed in listed on the Register of Student Sponsors as a "Student Sponsor - Track Record".
Appendix Graduate (paragraph GR 5.4) allow someone with permission as a Student Union sabbatical officer to apply based on a qualification they obtained in their current period of Student permission or "in the period of permission immediately before [it]" . The Graduate route caseworker guidance confirms on page 8 that "Students who undertake two consecutive periods as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer after their studies will still be able to meet this requirement."
If you have, or previously had, permission under the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) you cannot apply under the Graduate route. However, if you have previously held permission under Tier 1 (Post Study Work) route you are able to make a Graduate route application.
The Graduate Route caseworker guidance confirms on page 4 that you are also eligible to apply if your Student permission has expired, but you have "been given a period of exceptional assurance and [you have] not overstayed that period". If this is your situation, we advise that you let your university know directly that you will be applying (or that you have already applied) under the Graduate route. They will need to confirm to the Home Office that you have successfully completed your course and confirm that although your Student permission has now expired, you are still lawfully in the UK with an exceptional assurance. Your university may need to see evidence of your exceptional assurance before they can do this.
We asked the Home Office how someone with an exceptional assurance should answer the question in the application about whether they have a BRP (biometric residence permit). They replied,
"Applicants should answer NO and they will be routed to the process that requires them to attend a VAC and submit their biometrics/fingerprints"
Relevant qualification and successful completion
When you apply, you must have already successfully completed a ‘relevant qualification’.
The relevant qualification must be either:
- an Undergraduate degree
- a Master's degree
- a PhD or other doctoral qualification
or one of these qualifications listed in paragraph GR 5.2 of Appendix Graduate of the immigration rules:
- a law conversion course validated by the Joint Academic Stage Board in England and Wales
- 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) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)
- 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. The Graduate route caseworker guidance (page 9) explains that "Professional roles that have reserved activities include (but are not limited to) medical doctors, architects, lawyers, teachers, and nurses." See also Case Study 1 on pages 9-10 of the guidance.
You must normally have completed this course during your current period of Tier 4 or Student permission and it must be the same course for which your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) was assigned. There are some exceptions:
- Your CAS was assigned for an integrated programme, you successfully completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree as part of that programme, and you are applying on the basis of the integrated degree (this is only for degrees, not for other types of course)
- You were allowed to switch to a different course without applying for new Tier 4 or Student permission (you can use that new course as the relevant qualification)
- The course provider changed the name of your course without changing the content, or they added an assessed work placement or study abroad programme (this does not stop you meeting the qualification requirement)
- Your last period of Tier 4 or Student permission was granted to work as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer and you are applying on the basis of a qualification that was gained during a previous recent period of Student or Tier 4 permission
There is no exception for someone who finished their degree studies with non-degree qualification (e.g. you received a postgraduate diploma not a Master’s degree).
No minimum length is stipulated for a relevant course, but some course providers may have their own rules about this. There is no requirement to have started the relevant course in any specific year. If you are not sure whether your qualification is eligible, check directly with your Student route sponsor.
Study in the UK
To qualify for the Graduate route, you must meet the study in the UK requirement as outlined in Appendix Graduate, GR6.1. This requirement is different depending on the total length of your course of study. This is called the 'relevant period'.
If you are studying a course that is 12 months long or less you should have held Student permission for the full duration of your course , during which all study took place in the UK.
If you are studying a course that is longer than 12 months you should have held Student permission for at least 12 months , during which all study took place in the UK.
There is an exception in the Graduate route caseworker guidance (page 12) for courses of more than 12 months:
“If a course lasting longer than 12 months was completed using a combination of immigration routes, then the applicant must have spent the minimum required time as a Student or Tier 4 migrant in the most recent period of permission.”
If you applied for Student permission before you started the course, but it was not granted until after you started, the Graduate route caseworker guidance confirms on page 11 that you will be treated as having Student permission from the start date of the course.
The Graduate route caseworker guidance (page 11) explains how course length is counted:
"A course with a start date of 30 September 2020 and an end date of 29 September 2021 is 12 months long. A course is longer than 12 months if it starts on 30 September 2020 and ends on 30 September 2021 or later."
You may be eligible for the Graduate route even if you have spent time distance learning outside the UK due to COVID-19.
Any distance learning that was conducted overseas, or in the UK, between 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021 will be disregarded. Any distance learning conducted overseas between 27 September 2021 and 30 June 2022 will also be disregarded. No periods of distance learning during these times will prevent you from meeting the study in the UK requirement.
All students with a Student/Tier 4 visa should now have returned to the UK to continue their studies.
Money, fees, and knowledge of English
There is no requirement to show you have a certain amount of money (known as the 'maintenance requirement'). See also the information below about Practical matters, including money.
The application has no specific test of your knowledge of English. It is assumed from your successful completion of the relevant qualification taught in English, and having previously satisfied the English language requirement for your Tier 4 or Student route application.
Studies sponsored by a government or scholarship agency
If your tuition fees and living costs have been paid by a government and/or an international scholarship agency within the 12-month period before you apply, you must provide a letter showing the financial sponsor's consent to this application under the Graduate route. This applies to both the main applicant and any dependant who has had such a scholarship.
Financial sponsor’s consent is not required if you are or were sponsored by a university, an international company, an independent school, or any other type of financial sponsor.
Even if your type of scholarship does not require the sponsor's consent for a Graduate route application, you should still check its terms and conditions for any restrictions on extending your stay in the UK, and any financial penalties from the sponsor if you break the terms.
Your institution's responsibilities
Unlike other visa routes, the Graduate route places a responsibility on your institution to make a report to the Home Office and tell them that you are eligible for the Graduate route. Your institution will only be able to report your eligibility for the Graduate route once your grades have been finalised and you have successfully completed your course. Each institution may go through a different process to finalise your grades, so if you have any questions about this, contact your international advice team.
As part of that report to the Home Office, your institution will be required to confirm:
- That you have successfully completed your course of study during the last grant of permission to study on the Student route
- That your qualification was a UK bachelor’s degree, a UK postgraduate degree, or a “relevant qualification”
- That you held permission as a Student for the relevant period
We expect your institution to contact you to confirm they have reported your successful completion to the Home Office. If you are unsure of the process at your institution or have not received confirmation from it, contact your international advice team. You should not make your immigration application until you know your institution has made this report and confirmed your eligibility to the Home Office.
Your institution does not have to assess your current immigration status, or whether you are currently in the UK, as this will be assessed by the Home Office when you submit your Graduate route visa application. It is important to remember however that you can normally only apply for the Graduate route whilst you are in the UK with valid Student leave, and when you are confident that you meet the above requirements for the route.
Although the Graduate route is relatively flexible (particularly around employment), there are some important conditions that are applied to those under the route. Details on these conditions are listed below.
You may be able to start working in the UK whilst your Graduate route visa application is pending, but this will depend on when you originally obtained your Student leave.
If you made your most recent Student application before 6 April 2022:
You must wait for a decision on your Graduate application before you can start:
- a permanent full-time job
- work as an entertainer
If you made your most recent Student application on or after 6 April 2022:
You can start a full-time permanent job after making your Graduate route application. However, you must wait for the decision if you are planning work as an entertainer, or you plan to be self-employed.
You must not work as a professional sportsperson with Graduate permission. The date on which you applied for Student or Graduate permission makes no difference.
Graduate visa holders are able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required. When your Graduate route permission is issued you can do any work, either employed or self-employed, except working as a professional sportsperson or coach. You can take work at any level of salary or skill. If your plan longer term is to find a job for which you can eventually be sponsored under the Skilled Worker route, you should check which jobs are eligible for that as you will need to meet certain salary and job level requirements for that route when your Graduate visa expires.
Employers know about the Graduate route, and they should understand that with this permission you can take any work you wish without sponsorship and without any special actions for the employer. If they are unsure you can refer them to this guidance from the Home Office for employers where a specific section on the Graduate route explains that,
"The Graduate route enables international students who have been awarded their degree to stay in the UK and work, or look for work, at any skill level for two years, or three years for doctoral students. It is an unsponsored route, meaning you do not need a sponsor licence to hire someone with a Graduate visa."
If you want to set up as self-employed, see the detailed guidance from the UK government about all the steps and requirements . Your university Careers Service may also offered dedicated advice on entrepreneurship and self-employment. If you want to continue your business when your Graduate route permission expires, you will need to meet the requirements of an extension under a route such as Innovator Founder. Signposted details of this route can be found on our working after studies page.
Study is restricted under the Graduate route. The study condition states that you cannot study any course that can be sponsored under the Student route.
Examples of permitted study include (but may not be limited to):
- English language courses
- Some professional courses
- Any study at a college or university that is not a Student route visa sponsor
- Online study
- Evening classes
- Recreational courses
- Part-time Undergraduate course
If you are unsure whether you can study a specific course under the Graduate route, check with the provider whether they offer Student visa sponsorship for it. If they do, you cannot study the course.
Graduate route dependants do not have this study restriction and can study any course they wish.
Extending your stay
You cannot extend your stay under the Graduate route, but you can switch into most of the routes listed on our Working After Studies page to continue working in the UK. You will need to meet all the requirements of the specific route.
You can also switch back into the Student route for further studies, but completing those studies would not make you eligible for further leave under the Graduate route.
Permission under the Graduate route does not in itself lead to settlement, except as part of the Long Residence provision . UKCISA does not provide information or advice on settlement applications.
Practical matters: travel, money, job hunting, and council tax
If you are travelling to the UK to apply, make sure you understand the full implications of entering the UK under the restrictions of the current pandemic. The UK governments have prepared separate guidance for people arriving in England , Scotland , Wales or Northern Ireland .
While the application does not require any evidence of your money, you will of course still need money to pay your living costs. It is important to consider whether you have enough money to support yourself until you find work, and what your plan may be if you do not find work as quickly as you would have hoped. As with your Tier 4 or Student permission you will not have access to public funds , including any welfare benefits aimed at those who are not working or who are earning a low income.
When you are planning your budget for living costs, remember that you will now be liable for the full rate of Council Tax, without the discount for full-time students. For more information, see our guide to --> Council Tax .
The current pandemic is having an effect on the job market. Seek advice from the Careers Service at your university and check the information about Job Hunting in a pandemic in our separate guide to the Skilled worker route.
Only dependants that are already in the UK as your Tier 4 or Student dependant (partner and/or child under 18) can apply as a dependant under the Graduate route. This means that if your dependants are outside the UK, and you wish for them to receive Graduate route leave alongside you, they must join you under the Student route first. As with the main applicant, there is no maintenance requirement for a Graduate route dependant.
There is no deadline for them to join you on the Student route in the UK, other than your current Tier 4 or Student visa expiry date. Therefore it is important your dependants join you in the UK before your Tier 4 or Student visa expires. If your dependant does join you when you have less than six months remaining on your visa, please note that they will not pay the immigration health surcharge and would be liable to pay for any NHS treatment they receive until they successfully become a Graduate route dependant.
The Graduate route caseworker guidance confirms (page 20) that a dependant does not need to apply at the same time as the main applicant. A Student dependant's deadline for switching to Graduate dependant is therefore the expiry date of their Student dependant permission.
A child who applies must have both their parents in the UK, and the parents must either be applying at the same time or already have immigration permission, except as a Visitor. The three exceptions to the requirement that both parents must be in the UK are the same exceptions as for a Student dependant application. The application would need to include evidence that either the Graduate route applicant is the sole surviving parent, or they have sole custody of the child, or that "there are serious and compelling reasons to grant the child permission to stay with the [Graduate route applicant".
As with someone switching from Student to Graduate, someone who applies to switch from Student dependant to Graduate dependant who themselves had a government or agency scholarship for UK study must have the consent of the financial sponsor for their Graduate dependant application. See above: "Studies sponsored by a government or a scholarship agency".
We asked the Home Office to allow everyone to bring dependants under the Graduate route, not just those who could already bring dependants under their Student permission. The Home Office did not agree to this. This leaves all those switching in from a part-time postgraduate course and most applicants switching in from an undergraduate course unable to bring dependants.
If this affects you, and if it is important to bring your dependants to the UK, you may want to prioritise switching from the Graduate route into another work route, for example Worker, as soon as possible. Alternatively, your dependant may be able to apply for a long-term visa in their own right for study or work, or use a Standard Visitor visa to visit you for a maximum of six months.
Your Graduate route dependant will have the same work conditions as you. The only prohibition is on working as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
Receiving your decision
The Home Office website has a guide to current processing times for all types of application . It says that,
"You should usually get a decision on your [Graduate application] within 8 weeks once you’ve applied online and either attended your appointment at a visa service centre or submitted your documents using the ID Check app [...]"
The Home Office guide for Graduate route applicants has detailed information on pages 4 and 5 about receiving your decision and accessing your e-visa.
While your application is pending
If you apply in the UK to switch to the Graduate route you should not travel until the outcome of the application. This is because travelling outside the Common Travel Area automatically withdraws your application.
If you need to travel very urgently while your application is pending, your application will be automatically withdrawn when you leave the Common Travel Area , but if your Tier 4 or Student visa is still valid you can re-enter the UK after your travel. You will then need to apply again under the Graduate route and pay the application fee again. Only the Immigration Health Surcharge from your first application would be refunded.
After your Graduate route permission is granted
"Visa nationals" will receive a Biometric Residence Permit to show when re-entering the UK after travel. Other nationals will use their digital status. For full details and who is a "visa national" see the Home Office guide for applicants , page 6 "Travelling in and out of the UK".
Graduate permission has no restriction or time limit on travel outside the UK.
As a reminder, most applicants will be granted 2 years of leave except PhD graduates who will receive 3 years.
Experiencing the Graduate route
What is it like to find employment in the UK after graduation?
International graduates from across the UK have shared their experiences of seeking employment in the UK after graduation in short case studies.
They've shared their experience of:
- Applying for the Graduate route visa.
- Getting support from their universities.
- Knowledge and attitudes of the Graduate route from UK employers.
- Useful tips and advice for anyone looking to apply to the Graduate route after graduation.
Read their stories
Frequently asked questions
What is the earliest point i can apply for the graduate route.
The earliest possible date you can successfully apply under the Graduate route is the day your sponsor institution confirms that you have passed your course and you have your results.
Remember that your university needs to notify the Home Office of your successful completion and your potential eligibility to apply, and they may not be planning to do this immediately after they have notified you of your results. We advise that you check directly with your sponsor when they expect to notify the Home Office, and plan your application date accordingly.
If this is not logistically possible (for example because your Student permission ends before your sponsor plans to notify the Home Office) we advise you speak with your institution as soon as possible for support and advice. If you were to apply before your Sponsor has notified the Home Office, the Graduate route caseworker guidance confirms (page 8) that your application should not be refused but that the caseworker needs to check with your Sponsor before proceeding with your application. We advise you wait and apply after you know your Sponsor has made the notification.
What is my deadline to apply for the Graduate route?
Your deadline for applying is the expiry date of your Student permission. If your Student permission has already expired and you have an exceptional assurance, your deadline for applying is the expiry date of the exceptional assurance.
What if my Tier 4/Student permission expires before I receive my results?
Student permission includes a wrap-up time after the end date of the course, either 2, 4 or 6 months depending on your course and your university. This normally allows enough time to receive your results and apply under the Graduate route.
In some situations, your Student permission might expire before you get your results. This could happen in a number of situations (e.g. the results process will take longer than normal, you may have changed course and have a new end date, or part of your course was rescheduled and you have used some of your wrap-up period).
Whatever the reason you are likely to be "timed out" of applying under the Graduate route, unless:
- your results can be published earlier than planned, before the end of your Student permission (this is unlikely, but you can ask)
- you have not yet reached your formal end date of your course and your sponsor issues a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to support an extension of your Student route visa
How long does it take for my institution to report my successful completion?
This will vary from institution to institution, there is no set timeline for this process. If you are concerned about how the process works and how your institution will inform you that they have completed their reporting to the Home Office, please contact your institution directly.
Do I need to use the whole period of Graduate route leave? Can I split up the leave I am granted?
You do not need to use the entire period of your Graduate route visa however it is important to remember that you are only ever eligible for one grant of Graduate route leave. The length of leave cannot be split across multiple grants (i.e., one year Graduate route, one year Student route, final year Graduate route) either so do make sure you consider your short, medium, and long term plans in the UK when considering whether to apply under the route.
Can I have more than one job whilst on the Graduate route?
Yes, unlike a sponsored work route such as Skilled Worker, the Graduate route is not tied to a specific job or employer. Whilst you hold Graduate route leave you are able to have multiple jobs at any skill level. The only restriction is that you are not able to work as a professional sportsperson or coach.
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- International Home
How to apply
- International entry requirements
- Fees and scholarships for international students
- Visas and Immigration
- New international students
- List of eligible qualifications
- Applying for a Visa
- Student Visa Responsibilities
- Lost Passports and Visas
- Working in the UK
- Travelling and inviting friends and family
The Graduate Route was launched on 01 July 2021.
UKVI are now accepting applications under this route. This is an unsponsored route, you will not need sponsorship from the University or an employer.
Confirmation of your results
You can apply once the University has informed UKVI that, you have successfully completed the course you studied with your most recent Student or Tier 4 visa. You must also meet the eligibility requirements outlined below. As soon as we have notified UKVI, we will email you and confirm this. We will also provide you with the CAS number which you will need, to make the application.
We will tell UKVI, once you have been formally notified of your final award which has been confirmed by scheme board.
You must not make a Graduate Route application until you have received an email from us confirming that we have notified UKVI of your successful completion.
We will prioritise notifications according to visa expiry dates. It is important that your email address on E-vision is correct and you regularly check your emails. We will contact you if we require any additional information.
Please contact us if the following applies:
- Your have not heard from us and your visa is expiring in 3 working days. The email should have the subject title: GR VISA EXPIRING (date of visa expiry). For example, GR VISA EXPIRING 01/07/2021.
You should email [email protected]
Please note your visa end date is determined by the course end date on your CAS. If you are not able to successfully complete your course before your CAS course end date, you may not receive your final award before your visa expires. This may mean you are not eligible to apply for the Graduate Route.
You must obtain 70 points in total. The areas that points will be awarded for are:
- Successful completion requirement
- Qualification requirement
- Study in the UK requirement
There are also certain requirements to be met in order for the application to be valid (accepted). The following sections provide further information.
Information about dependants are also provided below.
- You must have successfully completed the course you studied on your most recent student visa.
- If you were permitted to change course without needing to apply for a new permission as a student (course transfers) or where the course title changed but the course content remained unchanged, the new course must be successfully completed.
- The course must be completed with a higher education provider with a track record of compliance.
- The University will need to confirm the course has been successfully completed by the date of application.
- This requirement will be met as long as you have successfully completed a course for which you have been or will be awarded, such as a UK bachelor’s degree, UK postgraduate degree, PGCE or PGDE.
- If the course title changed but the course content remained unchanged you could still meet this requirement.
- The qualification must have been obtained in the last grant of Student permission.
- If you hold a Student permission (visa) to cover a Student Union Sabbatical Officer position, the course must have been successfully completed within the last grant of student permission to study as a student.
- Please contact us if you have had 2 periods of student sabbatical leave.
- You must have studied in the UK for a certain minimum period of the course.
Students on courses of 12 months or less
- If you started the course in 2020 or spring 2021 through distance learning and you are entering UK for the first time, you must arrive either before your student permission expires or by 27/09/2021, whichever is sooner.
- If you start the course in autumn 2021 or spring 2022, you must enter UK latest by 6 th April 2022. However, it is recommended you travel to the UK as soon as you are able to do so and not wait until April 2022.
- If you are a student with existing student permission who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021, already travelled to the UK during that period of student permission and then returned home for period of distance learning, you will be able to make a graduate route application as long as you are present in the UK before the end date of that student permission.
Students on courses of Longer than 12 months
If your course is longer than 12 months, the following periods of distance learning will not prevent you from applying for the graduate route visa:
- 24/01/2020 - 27/09/2021 any distance Learning in the UK or overseas .
- 27/09/2021 – 06/04/2022 any distance learning overseas only .
Application process and validity requirement
In order for the application to be accepted, all of the following points must be met….
- The application must be made online
- The visa fee is £715.
- The amount of Immigration Health Surcharge to pay will be £624 per year. (For a 2 year visa it will cost £1248.00 and for a 3 year visa it will be £1872.00).
- Biometric details are required.
- You must provide a passport or other travel document to confirm identity and nationality.
- You must be in the UK (applications from overseas are not allowed).
- You will need your most recent CAS number.
- You should have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application.
- If you have a visa application pending with UKVI and your last visa was student permission, you should contact visa advice team.
- If you have exceptional assurance you may be eligible.
- For PhD graduates, this replaces the Doctorate Extension Scheme
- Anyone who currently has or previously had a Doctorate Extension Scheme visa will not be eligible for this route.
- Only one Graduate route application is permitted and it cannot be extended.
- Students sponsored by a Government or international scholarship agency in the 12 months leading up to the Graduate Route application will need to submit written consent from their sponsor.
If you do not meet all of the requirements above, the application is likely to be rejected. If you are refused, you may have the option of applying for an administrative review.
- The visa will be granted for 2 years, with the only exception for PhD graduates who will get 3 years.
- UKVI have confirmed that Postgraduate Diploma and/or Postgraduate Certificates do not qualify for the Graduate Route visa.
- No recourse to public funds
- Work permitted includes self-employment and voluntary work. The only exception is work as a professional sportsperson, which will not be allowed.
- Some types of study will be allowed. You cannot study with an institution that is a Student sponsor or courses that are permitted under the Student route.
- ATAS condition to be met (where applicable)
- Registration with the police (if applicable)
- You will need to pass security, identity and criminality checks.
- There is no option to switch to the Graduate route from any other visa category apart from the Student route.
- Time on this route will not count towards settlement, like the 5 years on skilled worker route, but time can accumulate towards the 10 year long residence route.
- You may be able to switch into other work related visas from this route.
- You can work at any skill level, but there may be some restrictions on the type of employment allowed.
- There will be no maintenance requirement and you won’t be required to submit any documents to demonstrate your English language ability.
Like the main applicant, dependants will need to pay the application fee, the IHS surcharge, provide biometrics, provide a passport or travel document to confirm their identity and nationality.
If they are sponsored by a Government or international scholarship agency they will need to provide written consent from the sponsor.
They must be in the UK on the date of application. They cannot apply from overseas. This means if dependants are not in the UK already on a dependant Student visa they will not be able to qualify.
Their last visa must have been as a dependant of someone with Student permission.
The relationship between the partner and main applicant must be subsisting and must have intention to live together during the grant of permission.
For dependant children, each parent must be applying in the UK as the same time as the child or already have permission to be in the UK (except as a Visitor). There are some exceptions to this.
For dependant children born in the UK to a parent on a Student or Graduate permission or their partner, a full UK birth certificate will need to be provided, which shows the names of both parents.
Dependents will have permission granted to match that of the main Graduate applicant.
Conditions attached will include no recourse to public funds, work is permitted including self-employment and voluntary work. However, they cannot work as a sportsperson or a sports coach. Study is permitted and the ATAS requirement must be met (where applicable). They may need to register with the police (if applicable, ie. if your visa conditions mention it).
- UKVI GOV.UK Graduate Visa information and application link
- UKCISA Advice - Working After Studies
- UKVI GOV.UK Graduate Route Publication [PDF]
+44 (0)1582 489319 +44 (0)1582 489326 [email protected]
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- Schools & departments
A Guide to the Graduate Route
The Graduate Route is a post-study work visa that will allow you to stay in the UK to work or look for work for 2 years after your degree has been awarded, or 3 years, if you have been awarded a Doctoral qualification.
Fee increase for the Graduate Route
From 4 October 2023, the application fee for the Graduate Route will increase to £822. An increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge fee is also expected at some point in the autumn. We will update this page when we have further information.
7 steps to success
You must not make your application before steps 1-4 are complete, or your application could be refused..
You must check that:
You meet all of the eligibility criteria (see below)
Your student record is fully up-to-date*, including:
your current Student/Tier 4 visa
*Note that Step 3 cannot be completed without this information
Your degree is awarded and is confirmed on your EUCLID student record (your student record will say ‘successfully completed an award’).
The University makes a report to the UKVI to tell them that your degree has been awarded and that you qualify for the Graduate Route. Please note that your eligibility will typically be reported within 2 weeks of your award being published, and your student record being updated, but this can vary.
The University sends you an email to your student and personal email accounts confirming that we have made the report and reminding you what your CAS number is. If you think you should have received this email, but have not yet received it, please contact us .
You complete the online visa application, pay the application and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee. If you have a valid EU, EEA or Swiss passport, or hold a valid BRP, you will be able to apply using the UK Immigration: ID Check app.
Apply for the Graduate route
You will need to prove your identity as part of the application process. If you can use the UK Immigration: ID Check app, you will be directed to scan either your passport, your BRP or both.
If you are unable to use the UK Immigration: ID Check app, you’ll be asked to get your fingerprints and photograph taken at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point instead.
You wait in the UK* for a decision about your application and, if you are a visa nationa l, for your BRP to be delivered
*if you leave the UK before you receive a decision, your application will be deemed withdrawn and you may lose the opportunity to get a Graduate Route visa. If you leave the UK before you get your BRP (where applicable), you will need to apply for a replacement vignette before you can return to the UK (£165).
Things you must do to ensure your application is successful
Do not apply for the Graduate Route until after you receive a confirmation email from the University containing your CAS
Ensure that your Student Record is up-to-date with your current visa and address
Apply before your Tier 4/Student visa expires
Qualifying for the Graduate Route (eligibility criteria)
You must have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa
You must make your application in the UK prior to the expiry of your Tier 4/Student visa*
If you have, in the 12 months prior to your application, received a full scholarship from a Government or International Scholarship Agency (i.e. fees and living costs), you must have written consent from your sponsor to make the visa application
You must not have previously been granted a visa under the Graduate Route or the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES)
*If your Tier 4/Student visa has expired, but you have been granted Exceptional Assurance, which is still valid, you may still be able to apply for the Graduate Route. Contact us for advice .
You must have been awarded a UK* bachelor’s or postgraduate degree, or one of the following:
A diploma in Professional Legal Practice
A PGCE or a PGDE
Other professional courses requiring study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above in a profession with reserved activities that are regulated by UK law or UK public authority. Professional roles that have reserved activities include (but are not limited to) medical doctors, architects, lawyers, teachers, and nurses.
You must have gained your qualification during the validity of your most recent Tier 4/Student visa (you cannot use a course that you completed before starting your most recent degree programme)
*Please note, if you have studied at the University of Edinburgh as a visiting student and your degree qualification has or will be awarded by an overseas institution, you will not be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route.
Study in the UK requirements
Requirement 1: You must spend a minimum amount of time physically present in the UK during your studies to qualify for the Graduate Route.
Requirement 2: You must hold a valid Tier 4/Student visa for the duration of the qualifying period in the UK
The minimum time you must spend depends on the length of your programme of studies:
*(This does not include holidays taken outside of term time).
Any period of distance learning between 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021, or remote study outside the UK up to 30 June 2022, as part of a course of study lasting longer than 12 months whilst you held permission as a Tier4/Student visa holder, will not prevent you from meeting the study in the UK requirement
- Time spent on permitted study abroad programmes: this is defined as a part of your programme which is completed at a partner institution, such as a University or research institute, outside the UK. The study abroad programme must be an integral and assessed part of the course which you have already started studying in the UK. An example of a permitted study abroad programme is a mandatory student exchange year.
Absences from the UK
There are a number of issues that you need to consider when leaving campus during term time – not just your eligibility for the Graduate Route:
- The University’s study regulations require you to be on campus during term time. You may apply for a Leave of Absence if you will be away for more than 30 days, but this can only be granted if you need the leave of absence for study purposes (such as data collection or a course-related work placement), and you continue to engage in your studies. You can ask your School if you wish to have an absence of 30 days or less, but it will be dependant on whether it is academically appropriate. You cannot miss any on campus engagement points.
- Your Student visa is granted to allow you to study in the UK. You are expected to carry out your studies on campus, and the UKVI’s expectation is that, if you don’t need to be in the UK, you don’t need a visa. We tell the UKVI that students need to be on campus to access the library and other facilities, even if they do not have classes. It is important, therefore, that you continue your studies in Edinburgh. However, whilst you should be based in the UK during term-time, there may be extenuating circumstances that require you to travel overseas for a short-period and for personal reasons, during which you would generally be absent from your studies. For example, if you must return home for 1 to 2 weeks because of a family emergency. If your absence is for a short period and you have informed your School, this should not impact your student visa.
- The Graduate Route rules currently state that, to qualify, you must be in the UK for all term time periods of your course, including the dissertation module. At present, this means that you must be in Edinburgh at all times except official vacation periods and weekends (Masters’ students do not have a summer vacation).
We recognise that the current rules about travel and the Graduate Route are unreasonably restrictive and we are working with UKCISA and UKVI to make them more realistic. However, we do not yet know what the changes will look like, and cannot confirm at this time whether your absence would exclude you from the Graduate Route. W e understand from verbal discussions with UKVI that short absences are unlikely to affect Graduate Route eligibility as long as you remain fully engaged with your studies. However, we cannot advise exactly how this works in practice until UKVI have published guidance which explains this. We will update this webpage as soon as we receive any new information from UKVI on this issue.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
You will need your CAS number to be able to apply for the Graduate Route. The University will tell you your CAS number when they confirm (by email) that they have reported your award to the UKVI.
You must have completed the same qualification that is stated on your CAS, unless you changed your programme as permitted by your Tier 4/Student visa. Find more information about what is permitted on our website .
Conditions of the Graduate Route
What you can and can't do.
You are permitted to:
Work in any profession, at any level, for any employer (including self-employment and voluntary work) EXCEPT work as a professional sportsperson
Study on short or recreational courses
You must not:
Access public funds
Study with a Student sponsor on a course which would meet the requirements of the Student visa route
What you need to know
Things to look out for before and after applying.
If you have completed your course you can work full time until your student visa expires, but it must not be in a permanent role, unless you meet all of the below:
You submitted the visa application for your Student visa on or after 6 April 2022; and
You submit your Graduate visa application in-time before your Student visa expires; and
You submit your Graduate visa application after you successfully completed your course (i.e after you receive notification that the University has reported this to UKVI)
If all of the above applies to you, you can start a permanent full-time role whilst your Graduate visa application is pending
If you start a business while you have a Graduate Route visa, you will no longer qualify for the Start-Up visa
If your current Tier 4/Student visa will expire before your award is confirmed, you will need to extend your Student visa before you can apply for the Graduate Route. You can only extend your Student visa if you have not yet completed your studies. It is important that you seek advice about this as soon as you are aware. Contact Us
Your Graduate Route visa will be valid for 2 years from the date that your visa application is decided (which is normally about 8 weeks after you make your application). You should think carefully about when you should make your application. For example, many graduate work programmes start in September and last for 2 years, so you should plan to make your application around 8 weeks before the start of the programme.
However, there is no guarantee of exact dates when your visa will start and finish.
Frequently asked questions
Can i travel during my studies.
If you are on a programme of 12 months or more, travel should not affect your eligibility. If you are on a course of 12 months or less, then you must be on campus during term-time. This means you should only travel during your vacation periods. Masters students do not have a summer vacation, as you are expected to be working full time on your dissertation. As the rules stand, if you choose to travel during term time, we cannot guarantee whether this will have an impact on your Graduate Route eligibility.
Can I travel after my studies?
The period of time between your programme end date, and your current student visa end date, is known as your 'wrap up period'. Travelling during your wrap-up period should not affect your Graduate Route visa. However, you must be in the UK to make your Graduate Route visa application, and once submitted, you must remain in the UK until you receive a decision from UKVI.
Can I finish my dissertation in my home country?
You are expected to carry out your studies on campus, and the UKVI’s expectation is that, if you don’t need to be in the UK, you don’t need a visa. We tell the UKVI that students need to be on campus to access the library and other facilities, even if they do not have classes. It is important, therefore, that you continue your studies in Edinburgh. If you choose to go home for your dissertation period, we would withdraw sponsorship of your student visa and you would no longer be eligible for the Graduate Route visa.
Can I work/will working affect my Graduate Route eligibility?
As a student visa holder, during your studies you will typically have a work restriction of 20 hours per week. Working within this should not affect your eligibility. The time between your programme end date and your visa expiry date is known as your ‘wrap-up period’. During this time, students who have a standard work condition (limiting your work to up to 20 hours per week) are allowed to work full time on a temporary basis. Please note, you cannot sign a permanent contract during this time. More information can be found here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-administration/immigration/at-the-end-of-your-studies
I’ve applied for the Graduate Route visa, can I stay in the UK?
If you have submitted and paid for your Graduate Route visa and Immigration Health Surcharge fees, before the end date of your current student visa, then you can stay and work in the UK. You can remain, even if your student visa expires, until you receive a decision from UKVI. Please note, it is important that you do not travel outside of the UK while you are waiting for a decision, as this can negatively impact your application.
I’ve applied for the Graduate Route Visa, but haven’t heard back, can you help?
Unfortunately, we are not able to influence how quickly UKVI make a decision on your application. As we do not sponsor this visa, we would not contact UKVI on your behalf. You can read more about visa processing times on the UKVI website:
UKCISA guidance on the Graduate Route
Graduate visa: Marking and Assessment Boycott
Please note the concession below only applies to those students affected by the Marking and Assessment Boycott. Students who have deferred their dissertation due to extenuating circumstances should refer to the information here .
The Home Office has made some temporary concessions to help Student visa holders who may face delays in applying for a Graduate visa because of the marking and assessment boycott.
You can submit a Graduate visa application before your results are issued, but the application must be submitted before your current Student visa expires. The UKVI have confirmed they will hold your application for 8 weeks to wait for your results to be confirmed. However, please note that your Graduate visa application may be refused if your results are not confirmed within 8 weeks of submitting your application. If your visa is refused, you will not be able to apply again for the Graduate visa, and you will no longer be able to extend your Student visa under these concessions. You will also lose the application fee. If you choose to apply for the Graduate visa before your visa expires, you should do so as close to your visa expiry date as possible to maximise the time you have to receive your final results.
If it seems likely that you will not receive your results within the 8 weeks, you can contact UCL Student Immigration Compliance Team for a new CAS to extend your Student visa. Please note that you will be required to pay the visa application fee and associate Immigration Health Surcharge.
For further guidance, please contact the Student Immigration Advice and Compliance Team on askUCL .
For further information, please access the Home Office website and the UKCISA website .
Graduate Route information session
The UKCISA webinar on the new Graduate Route is now live on their website. The webinar covers eligibility, applications and work options under the Graduate Route, followed by a Q&A.
You can view the recording of the webinar at this link.
- What is the Graduate route visa?
Am I eligible for the Graduate Route?
- How do I apply for the Graduate route?
Can my family members apply with me?
- When do I have to return to the UK if I want to apply for the Graduate route in 2022 or beyond?
- When is my course completion reported to UKVI ?
I have deferred my dissertation; will I still be eligible for the Graduate visa?
- When can I start working on the Graduate route visa?
- Can I study on the Graduate route visa?
What is the Gradute route visa?
The Graduate route is a visa available to international students who have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a UCL and who have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application. The Graduate Route has replaced the Doctorate Extension Scheme visa.
Most successful applicants will be eligible for a two-year visa, however PhD graduates will be eligible for a three-year visa.
To meet the requirements of the Graduate route students will need to:
- have successfully completed an eligible course at UCL
- apply after UCL has reported your course completion to the Home Office (you will receive an email from UCL when this is reported)
- have a valid Student or Tier 4 visa at the time of application
- only apply for this visa inside the UK
- have held had a Student/Tier 4 Visa for at least 12 months if studying a course longer than 12 months or for the full duration of your course if the course is 12 months or less. ( please see exceptions below for those graduating in 2021 )
If, in the last 12 months before the date of your application, you have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship by a Government or international scholarship agency covering both fees and living costs for study in the UK, you must provide written consent to the application from that Government or agency.
If you are currently sponsored on the Doctorate Extension Scheme you will not be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route.
How do I apply for the Graduate route?
You must not apply until UCL has reported your course completion to UKVI. When UCL reports your course completion to UKVI, you will receive an email from UCL confirming this. You must not apply for the Graduate Route until you receive this email, as applying too early may result in a refusal.
The Graduate route will require a new visa application, which will only be possible from inside the UK. It will include the payment of a visa fee of £715 and the Immigration Health Surcharge at the full rate of £624 per year.
Students will also need to know the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) they used for their most recent Student (or Tier 4) application in order to apply for the Graduate route. Details of your CAS can be found on your Portico account.
The Graduate Route application form has been designed to be straightforward and simple. You can find further information on how to apply using the IDV app and what kind of status you will recieve once your application is approved at pages 4 - 6 of this guidance document .
Further information about the new visa route can also be found on the Home Office website .
As part of the scheme UCL is required to report to UKVI that students have been awarded their degree. Once UCL has done this will you be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route. Our team will be contacting all students via email to notify them once we have reported this to UKVI. You have up until the expiry of your current Tier 4/Student Visa to submit your Graduate Route application.
Dependent family members will be permitted on the Graduate route, provided those family members are in the UK and they hold a valid permission as dependants of the main applicant on the Student/Tier 4 route. New dependants will not be permitted, except where a dependent child was born in the UK during a period of Student or Graduate permission.
Your dependant partner will need to provide evidence to show that your relationship is genuine and subsisting. For example, at least 6 different documents from different sources demonstrating that you have lived together at the same address since your last visa was issued.
When do I have to return to the UK if I want to apply for the Graduate route in 2022 and beyond?
Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 who have already applied for their student visa and travelled to the UK on that visa , will be able to apply for the Graduate Route visa if they re-enter the UK before the end date of their visa.
If your course started at any time, and is longer than 12 months in duration , any time that you spend outside the UK distance learning between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2022 will not prevent you meeting the Graduate route eligibility requirements. In these circumstances, you must return to the UK and apply for the Graduate route before your Student visa/Tier 4 visa expires. For example , you are an undergraduate student with a Tier 4/Student visa who entered the UK to start their programme in September 2019. You then spent time outside the UK distance learning between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2022 and intend to successfully complete your course in June 2022. To be eligible for the Graduate route, you must return to the UK and submit your application before your Student visa/Tier 4 visa expires.
If you hold a visa type other than a Student/Tier4 visa and you have been studying via distance learning overseas from the beginning of your programme, you will need to apply for a Student Visa from overseas before returning to the UK to be eligible for the Graduate Route in 2021.
If you hold a visa type other than a Student/Tier4 visa and you have been studying from inside the UK either in person or via distance learning, in most cases you will need to complete 12 months of study on a Student visa to be eligible for the Graduate Route scheme.
To contact the Student Immigration Advice Team, please open an enquiry via askUCL .
When is my course completion reported to UKVI?
We are only be able to submit a notification to UKVI that you have been awarded your degree once your marks have been ratified by UCL’s Exam Boards and noted on our systems. UCL will therefore be running regular reports to ensure that your award is picked up and reported as quickly as possible but please see below for the expected timings of our reports to UKVI for the coming year:
- For Undergraduate students, we expect to start submitting these notifications from mid-July.
- For Undergraduate students who are required to submit work during the late summer assessment period, we expect to start submitting these notifications in mid-September.
- For Postgraduate Taught programmes with a June end date we expect to start submitting these notifications from mid-July.
- For students enrolled on a PGCE or LLM programme, we expect to start submitting these notifications from mid-August.
- For all other Postgraduate Taught students we expect to be able to start submitting these notifications from early December.
- Postgraduate Research students are awarded their degree on the 28 th of each month . We expect to submit a notification of award to UKVI within 7 working days of the award being noted on the system.
UCL is not able to provide further Student visa sponsorship to those who have deferred their dissertation. If you have used your visa wrap-up period for repeats or deferrals, it is likely that your Student visa will expire before the Exam Board meets to confer your award.
If your academic department is able to confer your award before your Student visa expires, we can report your eligibility for the Graduate visa on this basis. However please note this is a decision for your academic department and may not be possible.
If you are not eligible to apply for the Graduate visa, there are other post-study work visa routes available .
When can I start working on the Graduate route visa?
You made your most recent Student application before 6 April 2022 You must wait for a decision on your Graduate application before you can start:
- a permanent full-time job
- work as an entertainer.
You made your Student application on or after 6 April 2022 You can start a full-time permanent job after making your Graduate route application. But you must wait for a decision before you start self-employment or work as an entertainer.
You must not work as a professional sportsperson with Graduate permission. The date on which you applied for Student or Graduate permission makes no difference.
Can I study on the Graduate route visa?
The rules state that you cannot study any course which could in theory be sponsored under the Student route .
Examples of permitted study would therefore include:
- Part-time undergraduate course
- English language courses
- Some professional courses
- Online study
- Evening classes
- Recreational courses
If you are unsure whether you can study a specific course under the Graduate route, please contact the Student Immigration Compliance Team on askUCL .
Further information about the new visa route can be found on the Home Office website and the UKCISA website .
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The Graduate Route (Post-study work)
The Graduate route is open to Tier 4 and Student visa holders who meet the requirements to enable them to work in the UK after successfully completing a relevant course in the UK.
What are the eligibility requirements?
You must have successfully completed a relevant qualification: a UK bachelor’s degree, a UK postgraduate degree, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) or one of the other qualifications listed in paragraph GR 5.2 of Appendix Graduate of the UK's Immigration Rules. Successful course completion and notification to the Home Office
You must have successfully completed the course for which your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) was assigned (except in the case of an approved course transfer). Successfully completed means you have been assessed by the University and have been or will be awarded a relevant qualification (as above).
Please note that if you graduate with a lower qualification, you may not be eligible to apply for the Graduate route.
Home Office notification
The University must notify the Home Office before you apply for the Graduate route that you have successfully completed your course. If you apply for the Graduate route before your results are published and before the University has notified the Home Office that you have been successfully completed your course, it would be correctly refused under paragraph GR 3.1 of Appendix Graduate of the UK's Immigration Rules. The University will endeavour to notify the Home Office promptly and the University's International Student Advisory Team will email students to inform them once this has been done.
Please do not apply for the Graduate route until you have received an email from the International Student Advisory Team confirming the Home Office has been notified.
If you do not receive confirmation from the International Student Advisory Team that the Home Office has been notified of your successful course completion one month after the official publication of your results or before your visa expires, please email [email protected] .
Immigration status and study in the UK requirement
Immigration status: At the time you apply for the Graduate route, you must hold valid immigration permission as a “Tier 4 Student” or “Student”. You cannot switch to the Graduate route visa from any other immigration category.
The study in the UK rules are different depending on the length of your course. Courses of 12 months or less: If you are studying a course of 12 months or less, you must have studied the whole course physically in the UK as a “Tier 4 Student” or “Student”. Courses of more than 12 months: If you are studying a course of more than 12 months, you must have studied at least 12 months of the course physically in the UK as a “Tier 4 Student” or “Student”.
If a course lasting longer than 12 months was completed using a combination of immigration routes, then you must have spent the minimum required time as a Student or Tier 4 migrant in the most recent period of permission.
Important additional information
All course related work must be undertaken from within the UK. This includes writing and submitting your written coursework/dissertation and sitting exams, even if they are online. Your visa sponsorship may be affected if your are found to be studying from overseas during term-time.
Travel outside the UK for short trips during weekends and official University vacation periods should not affect your eligibility. Travel during term-time is not permitted, but if essential, authorisation should be sought from your school. However, you will need to consider your eligibility because you must declare all travel in your Graduate Route visa application, and you must be honest with your answers.
Therefore, our advice is that you should not travel outside the UK during term-time to safeguard your Student visa status and Graduate Route eligibility.
University processes which can affect your eligibility
Extensions to coursework and re-sit exams
The University may not be able to provide you with further Student visa sponsorship to cover an extension to your course, for example in the case of extensions to coursework/dissertation deadlines or for re-sit examinations. Under the UK’s Immigration Rules, further visa sponsorship can only be provided in specific circumstances and is therefore not guaranteed. If your work/exam results are not going to be assessed by an examination board until after your Student visa expires you will not be eligible for the Graduate route. If you are being offered an extension to your coursework/dissertation deadline or have re-sit examinations, please contact the International Student Advisory Team for further advice.
Please be aware if there is an outstanding debt on your university account which prevents your final results from being published, this will prevent the University from reporting your successful completion for the Graduate route to UKVI. Therefore, please ensure you have paid your tuition fees in full and that you have settled any outstanding debts with the University in good time before the publication of results.
Where and when should I apply?
You can only apply for the Graduate route from inside the UK. There is no provision to apply from outside the UK.
After you have received confirmation from the International Student Advisory Team (by email) that the University has notified the Home Office of your successful course completion (as per the 'successful completion and notification to the Home Office section above)
You must apply before your Tier 4/Student immigration permission (visa) expires.
When someone applies to extend their immigration permission from within the UK, they must submit the application in-time i.e. before their Tier 4/Student permission expires.
Whilst an immigration application is pending with the Home Office, the applicant will continue to have permission to be in the UK until their application is decided. The period between the expiry of the Tier 4/Student permission and the new permission being granted is know as 3C leave . 3C leave is an extension of your immigration permission (and the conditions of that immigration permission) whilst the application is being processed.
Application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
The application fee is £822 per applicant.
You will pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) per applicant at £624 per year of permission that you are applying for* That is 3 years for PhD graduates, 2 years for others. 2 years will cost £1,248 3 years will cost £1,872
*The IHS will be increasing to £776 per year, likely in January 2024. The increase will be implemented from 16th January 2024 or the 21st day after the UK Government's order is approved.
Documents you will need to apply
When you apply you will need to provide:
• a valid passport or other travel document that shows your identity and nationality • your biometric residence permit (BRP), if you were given one when you applied for your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa • your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number from when you applied for your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa. When we email to confirm we have notified the Home Office that you have successfully completed your course, we will state the CAS reference number that has been reported against. If you do not think the correct CAS number has been reported against, please email [email protected].
There is no maintenance (money) or English language requirement.
Other documents you might need:
Students who have been sponsored (for both tuition fees and living costs) by a government or international scholarship agency, will need a letter of consent from the sponsor to stay in the UK under this route.
You should check the terms and conditions of any scholarships/sponserships you were awarded, because you may have agreed to return to your home country for a period of time when accepting the award.
Please note that the Chevening website states that its scholars cannot apply for the Graduate route.
Can I apply for the Graduate route visa and stay in the UK at the end of my course? | Chevening
The Graduate route application process has been designed to be straightforward and simple. As part of your application, you will need to prove your identity, complete an online application form , and provide your documents (valid passport (or travel document) and previous BRP card (if applicable).
Applicants will be able to submit biometrics through the UK Immigration: ID Check’ app. If you cannot scan your passport or BRP with the app, you will be asked to provide your fingerprints and have a photograph taken at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.
Applications will take approximately 8 weeks to be processed, but you should not travel until the outcome of the application. This is because travelling outside the Common Travel Area automatically withdraws your application.
Receiving the outcome
You will receive the decision via email, and you will be granted the relevant amount of permission from the date of decision. PhD graduate will be granted 3 years of immigration permission under the route and other graduates 2 years.
If you have verified your identity using the app, as soon as you get notification of the decision on your Graduate route application, you will be able to view your immigration status digitally (eVisa) and prove your rights in the UK.
You will use your UKVI account credentials to sign into the online View and Prove service on GOV.UK , which is where you can access your eVisa.
" Visa nationals " will receive a Biometric Residence Permit to show when re-entering the UK after travel. For further information, please see pages 4-5 in the Home Office’s Graduate route guidance .
Eligibility for dependants is restricted to those who are already in the UK as Student dependants of the main applicant, except for babies born in the UK during the current grant of Tier 4/Student permission.
If they are not already in the UK as a dependant and you are permitted to bring dependants to the UK, there is no deadline for them to join you on the Student route in the UK, other than your current Tier 4 or Student visa expiry date.
Dependants do not have to apply at the same time as the main applicant for the Graduate route, but they must apply for the Graduate route from within the UK and before the expiry of their Student dependant visa.
Your Graduate route dependant will have the same work conditions as you.
Please see gov.uk for more details.
Conditions and working under the Graduate route
If you are granted permission under the Graduate route, you will be able to stay and work full or part-time, or look for work, at any skill level whether employed or self-employment, except as a professional sportsperson or coach. You do not require an employer to sponsor you.
Whilst your application is pending, if you submitted your application before your permission expired, then you will be able to work under your Tier 4/Student conditions. This means if you were studying full-time you can work full-time after your course end date, but you cannot fill a permanent full-time position; or be self-employed or engage in business activity, work as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach) or work as an entertainer.
However, i f you applied for your current Student visa on or after 6 April 2022 you will be able to begin working full time in a position that fills a permanent vacancy, providing you have successfully completed your course and have made a valid application to the Graduate route.
If you were studying part-time, you must wait until you have been issued permission under the Graduate route before you start to work.
You cannot study any course that can be sponsored under the Student route as this is a study condition that is restricted under the Graduate route.
You will have ‘no recourse to public funds’. This means you will not have access to public funds in the UK. Find out more.
If your application is successful, you will get a full list of what you can and cannot do with a Graduate visa.
Remaining in the UK after the Graduate permission expires
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