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Post-study work’ opportunity for the best and brightest international talents

Jul 07, 2021
Last Updated on May 22, 2024

Under the new immigration route, from 01 July 2021, all international students who have completed an eligible course from a UK university may wish to consider their post-study work career in the UK.

Outline: Graduate visa route

The Graduate route offers ample opportunities to fresh international talents to kickstart their career and begin working in the UK for at least two years. In addition, the PhD students can stay and work for up to 3 years.

The Graduate visa route comes under the “new” points-based immigration system, which will help attract the ‘best and the brightest overseas students and give businesses a golden opportunity to recruit the best-skilled professionals in the UK, building back the UK economy from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel announcing the Graduate visa route, said, “ As we build back better, it is vital that the UK continues to be a beacon for talented young people across the globe who want to make a difference. The new Graduate route does just that, giving the best and brightest graduates the opportunity to continue contributing to the UK’s prosperity and the freedom to kickstart their careers in the UK.”

Adding to Priti Patel, the Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, said,“ International students are a vital part of our society, and those who graduate from our world-leading universities should have the opportunity to stay and build meaningful careers here, in the UK. That is why we are introducing this new route for international graduates, enabling British businesses to attract and retain some of the brightest, most talented graduates across the globe, and helping this nation build back better from the pandemic.”

Requirements to be considered for a Graduate visa application

Let us take a deep dive into the requirements for a Graduate visa application.

#1: Eligibility to apply for a Graduate visa

You are eligible to apply for a Graduate visa if you meet the following conditions:

  1. You are staying in the UK
  2. You hold your current visa as a Student visa
  3. You have studied a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or another eligible course for a minimum period of time with your Student visa

#2: Education completion requirements

  1. You must have completed their course
  2. The education provider must be a ‘licensed student sponsor’ with a ‘track record of compliance’
  3. The Sponsor must have notified the Government if the applicant has successfully completed the course and received the certificate of completion.

#3: Qualification requirements

  1. You must have successfully completed the course on your student visa
  2. Your circumstances during the application process also rely on the type of course, you have pursued, your education provider and how long did you study.
  3. You must have either of the following educational qualifications
  • a UK bachelor’s degree
  • a UK master’s degree
  • a UK PhD or doctorate
  1. You will also be eligible if you have completed any of the following:
  • a law conversion course validated by the Joint Academic Stage Board in E&W
  • the Legal Practice Course in England & Wales, the Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland, or a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland
  • Bar Practice Course in England & Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland
  • a foundation programme in medicine or dentistry
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)
  • a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • A professional course requiring a UK bachelor’s degree or above in a job with reserved activities that are regulated by UK law or UK public authority

#4:Study requirements

  • You must have studied your course in the UK for at least 12 months or the full length of your course, whichever is shorter.
  • If the total length of your course is longer than 12 months, the applicant must have studied in the UK for at least 12 months in order to be eligible.
  • The applicant must not have been previously granted permission under the Doctorate Extension Scheme or as a Graduate

Fee structure

Applicants will be required to pay a visa fee of £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge(IHS) at the total rate of £624 per year.

Documents checklist

While making the online application you will need the following:

  1. A valid passport to confirm your identity and nationality
  2. Biometric Residence Permit(BRP)
  3. Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  4. Certificate of completion from your education provider.

Visa extension or switching your visa category

The Graduate visa is granted for a fixed time, for 2 years if you have a bachelor’s degree and 3 years if you have a PhD.

You cannot extend your Graduate visa. However, you can switch your visa route to another category before it expires. For example, you can switch your visa to a skilled worker visa.

Students do not need to have a job offer to begin applications, giving work flexibility and no minimum salary requirement.

Coronavirus concession

If the students had started their courses in 2020 and cannot travel due to the pandemic, they have been given coronavirus concession and can now enter the UK on or before 27 September 2021.

Students who had started their courses in Autumn 2020 or spring 2021 can also enter the UK as early as 27 September. However, in the case of students starting a course in Autumn 2021 must be present in the UK by 6 April 2022.

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