The UK Government has announced the opening of the Graduate visa route as of 1 July 2021.
The Graduate route is intended for international graduates who have received their degree from a recognised UK university and wish to remain in the UK to work, or look for work, at any skill level for 2 years, or 3 years for doctoral students.
Eligibility, you can apply for a Graduate visa if:
- You are currently in the UK;
- You are currently on a Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa; and
- You have successfully completed a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or any other eligible course for which you studied in the UK for a minimum period of time throughout your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa.
When do I need to make the application?
An application for the Graduate visa must be submitted before the expiry date of your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa. You will need to ensure that your education provider has confirmed that you have successfully completed your degree while being under the Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa. However, you will not have to wait until your graduation takes place or to receive your degree certificate.
If, in the 12 months before applying, you were 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 obtain and provide written consent to the Graduate visa application from that Government or agency.
Will my dependants be able to apply alongside me?
If your partner and children are your dependents' on your current Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa, they can make an application to stay as dependants on your Graduate visa.
Their visa will expire on the same date as yours if their application is approved.
Length of the visa
If you decide to make an application for the Graduate visa, you will be able to stay in the UK for two years, however, if you hold a PhD or other doctorate certification, you will be able to stay in the UK for 3 years.
Once you have completed the 2 or 3 years (depending on your circumstances), you will not be able to extend your visa, however, you may be able to switch to another type of visa, such as the Skilled Worker visa, check our recent blog about switching to the skilled worker route
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you can use your biometric passport to verify your identity on the app. The app is free and is compatible with all phones.
Those unable to use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app, will need to visit a UK Visas and Citizenship Application Services centre (UKVCAS) to complete the application process. You’ll be told how to book this when you apply.
A decision on the application should be received within 8 weeks following the UK immigration ID check, and the documents provided. The guidance on the Graduate visa route has not yet been published, however, we will provide a further blog once this is published.
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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.