Graduate Visa route opens

The previously reported graduate route, allowing international students to kick-start their careers in the UK after they have finished their studies at a UK university, has now opened. This new route enables such students to remain in the United Kingdom after graduating from a higher education provider to so that they may find work.

This route does not require sponsorship from an employer or an educational institution and will grant graduates leave to remain for two years, or three years for Ph.D. graduates. Although the Graduate Visa is not eligible for extension and time spent in the United Kingdom under this route does not count towards settlement, holders of this visa are able to switch their immigration category at a later date.

The graduate route will allow family members already in the United Kingdom as dependants on the current Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa to apply as dependants of the Graduate visa applicant, although this does not apply to dependants currently outside of the United Kingdom, who are not eligible under the new rules.

Applicants for the graduate route are required to prove their identity and complete an online application form, with applicants from the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein being required to prove their identity by scanning their passport with the UK Immigration: ID Check app. Applicants unable to scan their passport with the app must instead attend an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services centre to submit their fingerprints and photographs.

Applicants who began their studies in autumn 2020 or in spring 2021 will need to be in the UK with permission as a student by 27th September 2021. Students beginning their course this autumn or early next year will need to be in the UK by 6th April 2022.

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