Graduate Visa
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Graduate Visa

The Graduate Visa, also known as the “Graduate Route”, is a new post-study immigration route opened on 1 July 2021 for international students who have finished their studies in the UK.

The Graduate Visa allows student visa holders to stay in the UK for at least 2 years after successfully completing their course of study. The Graduate route has replaced the Doctorate Extension Scheme and international students who have a PhD or other doctoral qualification will be able to stay for at least 3 years.

Eligibility requirements for the Degree Course

To be eligible for the Graduate Visa you must be able to meet a number of certain requirements. You may be eligible if:

  • I am currently in the UK
  • Hold a valid student visa (including the old Tier 4 student visa)
  • Have studied in a suitable course
  • Have successfully completed your course of study in the UK

You will need to have studied at an educational institution that is an approved sponsor and you will need to have studied for 12 months or the full duration of the course, whichever is shorter.

Eligible courses include:

  • Short degrees
  • Master degree
  • PhD or doctorates
  • Legal conversion courses approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • The Legal Practice Course in England and Wales, the Solicitor 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
  • Basic programs in medicine or dentistry
  • Postgraduate Certificates in Education (PGCE)
  • Postgraduate Diplomas in Education (PGDE)

Requested documents

When you apply for a graduate visa, there are a number of documents you will need to provide, including:

  • A valid passport or other travel document proving your identity and nationality
  • Your biometric residence permit (BRP), if you were granted one when you applied for your student or Tier 4 student visa
  • Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number from when you applied for your student visa

If a government, international scholarship agency or other sponsor has paid your course fees or living expenses in the last 12 months, you will also be required to submit a letter from the scholarship or sponsorship provider together to the question.

Who can apply for a graduate work visa in the UK?

You are eligible to apply for a graduate work visa if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are currently in the UK on a student visa.
  • You have studied a degree, postgraduate diploma or other eligible course in the UK for a minimum of 12 months on your student visa.
  • Your university or college can provide evidence to the Home Office that you have successfully completed the course.

UK Graduate Work Visa Benefits

The benefits of the UK Graduate Work Visa are as follows:

  • After completing a course at a British university, you can stay and work in the UK for two or three years if you have a PhD or other doctoral qualification.
  • You can look for work, work, volunteer and be self-employed.
  • You can add your partner and children as dependents in your visa application if they stayed with you during your studies.

UK Graduate Work Visa Conditions

Once you get a graduate work visa in the UK, you are obliged to follow the conditions listed:

  • You can undertake extra study, but you cannot study with a student sponsor on a course that meets the requirements of a UK student visa and you cannot study at a state school.
  • It is not permitted to bring new dependents.
  • It is possible to obtain the permit under the Graduates route only once.
  • It is not possible to apply for public funds or the state pension.
  • You cannot work as a professional athlete.

Equipped Degrees for Applying for a UK Graduate Work Visa

To apply for the Graduate Work visa, you must have finished one of the following degrees or courses:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree.
  • A Master’s Degree.
  • PhD or higher doctoral degree in any field.
  • A law conversion course approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
  • Legal Practice Course in England or Wales.
  • Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland.
  • A professional legal practice diploma in Scotland.
  • Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or Bar Course in Northern Ireland.
  • Foundation program in medicine or dentistry.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education.
  • ā€¢Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
  • Any course regulated by UK law or a UK public body.

Required Documents for the UK Graduate Work Visa

To apply for the Graduate Work visa, you must prepare the following documents:

A valid passport.

Your biometric residence permit, if you received one when you applied for your student visa or general work visa.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number when you applied for a student visa.

Depending on your situation, you may need to provide the following documents:

Proof of your relationship with your partner and children if they are applying with you. You must provide a marriage or civil partnership certificate, joint bank statements/joint financial statements, utility bills, or local taxation-evidenced Degrees for Apply for a UK Graduate Work Visa

To apply for the Graduate Work visa, you must have finished one of the following degrees or courses:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree.
  • A Master’s Degree.
  • Ph.D. or higher doctoral degree in any field.
  • A law conversion course approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
  • Legal Practice Course in England or Wales.
  • Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland.
  • A professional legal practice diploma in Scotland.
  • Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or Bar Course in Northern Ireland.
  • Foundation program in medicine or dentistry.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
  • Any course regulated by UK law or a UK public body.

Required Documents for the UK Graduate Work Visa

To apply for the Graduate Work visa, you must prepare the following documents:

  • A valid passport.
  • Your biometric residence permit, if you received one when you applied for your student visa or general work visa.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number when you applied for a student visa.
  • Depending on your situation, you may need to provide the following documents:
  • Proof of your relationship with your partner and children if they are applying with you. You must provide a marriage or civil partnership certificate, joint bank statements/joint financial statements, utility bills, or local taxation evidence
  • A letter from your scholarship or sponsorship provider approving your application.
  • Note: You need to provide a certified translation of your documents if they are not in English or Welsh.ce
  • A letter from your scholarship or sponsorship provider approving your application.

Note: You need to provide a certified translation of your documents if they are not in English or Welsh.

How to apply for a graduate work visa in UK?

To apply for the Graduate Work Visa, you must complete the online application form on the UK Government’s Visa and Immigration webpage. Once the application is launched, the process is as follows:

  • Upload the required documents. You will be presented with a list of documents to upload to your online application. You can scan or photograph your documents; they can be in PNG, JPG, JPEG or PDF format.
  • Pay the fees requested in the application form. When you apply online you have to pay both the health surcharge and the application fee.
  • Confirm your identity. If you have a BRP, you can download your biometric residence permit (BRP) scan with the ‘UK Immigration: Identity Check’ app. You will provide your details and scan your BRP.
  • Book and attend an appointment at UKVACS to provide your biometric details if you do not have a BRP. You can make an appointment while applying online. You will be asked to provide your fingerprints and a photograph when you attend your appointment at UKVACS.
  • Provide additional documents (if requested). You can submit supporting documents when you apply online or when you attend your UKVCAS appointment.

Note: If you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein, you should scan your passport instead. If you are unable to scan your BRP or passport with the app, you will need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a UK Citizenship and Visa Application Services service point.