From 1 July 2021, any student can apply for Graduate Immigration Route visa if the student has a valid student visa and completed an eligible qualification. A Graduate route visa allows you to stay and work in the UK for at least 2 years after successfully completing a course in the UK.

If you're looking for an immigration lawyer for a UK Work visa or UK Graduate visa application then contact our highly experienced UK Work visa lawyer to get reliable & confidential immigration advice and legal assistance with your UK visa application.

Graduate Route Visa

Page Contents

  1. What is Graduate Visa UK?
  2. Eligibility & Requirements for Graduate Route Visa UK
  3. Documents Required for Graduate Route Visa UK
  4. When Should I Apply to the Graduate Route Visa?
  5. What are the Conditions of the Graduate Route Visa?
  6. Can I Switch to the Skilled Worker Route?
  7. How can we help with your UK visa application?
  8. Do you need an immigration lawyer for the Graduate visa application?
  9. Our Fees
  10. Do you need legal help?

What is Graduate Visa UK?

The Graduate route provides an opportunity for 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. The Graduate route is unsponsored, meaning you do not need a job offer to apply for the route. You will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs, and develop your career in the UK as required. 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 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 Student visa after you have completed your course but with some restrictions on the type of work you can do.

Any Student having a valid leave to remain as a student who has completed an eligible qualification can apply for switching into the Graduate route from 1 July 2021.

You are not allowed to bring new dependants. Dependants already in the UK as a Student dependant may apply as a dependant of a Graduate at the same time the Graduate applies to the route. The Graduate route is not a route to settlement; however, any time spent on the Graduate route does count towards ILR based on 10 years long residence.

Eligibility & Requirements for Graduate Route Visa UK

You can apply for visa under the Graduate route 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 you you've successfully completed your course

The Graduate route is available to international students, who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above (or one of the limited numbers of professional qualifications at degree level or above) at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance, and who have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application. You will need to have completed the entirety of your course in the UK as a student, apart from permitted study abroad programs or remote study due to COVID-19, for which specific concessions have been agreed.

You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements. Please contact us for initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.

Financial & English Language Requirements

The route does not require you to show funds or finance, and you do not need to demonstrate English language ability when applying, as you will have already proved your English language ability by completing your degree at a UK university. You must have completed the qualification that was named on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) associated with your Student (or Tier 4) visa, or following a change of course which was allowed without applying for further permission.

Documents Required for Graduate Route Visa UK

When you apply you'll 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

Your CAS reference number was sent to you by your education provider when they offered you a place on the course you completed with your Student visa. If you cannot find it, ask your education provider what it is.

When Should I Apply to the Graduate Route Visa?

You should apply to the Graduate route once your university has sent you your final course results, and not before this. You do not have to wait until you have graduated to apply. You must be in the UK when you apply. Those who apply from outside of the UK will be rejected and refused entry to the UK and could lose their eligibility to apply for the Graduate route. In addition, application fees may not be refunded. You should not leave the UK or Common Travel Area whilst you are waiting for a decision on your application. Doing so may affect your eligibility for the Graduate route and result in you being unable to re-enter the UK. 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.

What are the Conditions of the Graduate Route Visa?

Under the Graduate route, you are allowed to take up extra study, but you cannot study with a student sponsor on a course that would meet the requirements of a student visa, and you cannot study at a state school. You are not allowed to bring new dependants. Dependants already in the UK as a Student dependant may apply as a dependant of a Graduate at the same time the Graduate applies to the route. The Graduate route is non-extendable and does not count towards settlement. However, if you find suitable employment, you will be able to switch to various work routes from the Graduate route. The grant of a Graduate route visa will be subject to no recourse to public funds.

Can I Switch to the Skilled Worker Route?

From the Graduate route, you may be able to switch to the Skilled Worker route if you meet the relevant requirements, which allows you to stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. It is for a maximum of five years and contributes to settlement rights meaning you may be able to apply to live permanently in the UK. The Graduate route does not count towards settlement rights however it does count towards the lawful residence of 10 years settlement category.

How can we help with your UK visa application?

As part of our immigration services for your immigration application, our expert immigration lawyer will:

  • assess your eligibility for the relevant visa type by fully considering your circumstances;
  • advise you on the required supporting documents to be submitted in support of your immigration application;
  • assess all the documents to ensure that the documents you provide are as per the requirements of the Immigration Rules;
  • advise you on strengths and potential weaknesses in your visa application and how you can overcome such weaknesses if any;
  • complete the online immigration draft application form to share it with you for cross-checking;
  • submit your application online and schedule your biometrics appointments with the relevant commercial partner of the UKVI;
  • prepare a detailed cover letter in support of the immigration application explaining in detail how you are meeting all the requirements of the Immigration Rules so that you have the maximum chances of succeeding in your visa application;
  • upload all the supporting documents online in support of the immigration application in their correct format and order;
  • dealing and responding to any caseworker enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office caseworker for any further documents or information concerning your pending immigration application;
  • do all the follow-up work on your immigration application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI.

Do you need an immigration lawyer for the Graduate visa application?

UK Immigration law is an extremely fast-changing and complex area of law. There are high chances of getting a visa refusal if you are not fully aware of relevant immigration law(s) and eligibility criteria.

Most of the applicants seek professional legal help with their UK Graduate visa applications from highly experienced immigration lawyers to boost their chances of success. A well-prepared application can significantly increase your chances of success.

Our fee

Our expert UK immigration lawyer will guide you through every step of the UK Graduate Route visa application process including advice about legal requirements, eligibility criteria, and required documents.

Our fixed fee

We charge a fixed fee starting from £700 for our professional legal services in relation to UK Graduate Route visa application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.

Do you need legal help?

Contact Rex Law Chambers, if you have any questions or need legal help with any UK immigration law related matter. At Rex Law Chambers, we specialise in a wide range of UK visas and nationality applications and our principal immigration lawyer has wealth of experience and expert knowledge to deal with all types of UK visas and immigration applications. He has successfully handled many complex and high-profile cases and also represented clients in their immigration matters.

We can provide one-off FREE general legal advice via live chat or our "Enquiry Form". The FREE advice does not cover the advice in relation to complex legal issues or advice about documents to be submitted in support of the application. If you would like to to get detailed legal advice then please schedule an in-person, Zoom, Skype or phone consultation by using our "Appointment Request Form".

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