Are you thinking about working in the UK after you have successfully completed your degree at the University of Plymouth? Do you want to find out more about the Graduate Visa?
If yes, we are running online information sessions which are bookable at myCareer
– sign in with your student log in and then type in ‘Let’s talk about the Graduate Visa’ in the search box.
The Graduate visa is a new work route for those who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK Higher Education Provider (with a track record of compliance). Your application does not need sponsorship or any endorsement by an employer or by your university. International students who have successfully completed the undergraduate or masters degree stated on their CAS within the original course time frame can apply for this visa and benefit from two years’ work experience in the UK, subject to various conditions. PhD students can qualify for 3 years.
Listed below are some of the basic eligibility criteria. You can apply for a Graduate visa 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 (GR6.1) with your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
- your education provider (such as your university or college) has told the Home Office you’ve successfully completed your course
In addition, you must have paid all tuition fees and any other incurred costs owed to the University of Plymouth before we can award your degree and report your successful completion to the Home Office.
If you have successfully passed your degree the University will proceed to confirm to the UKVI that you have successfully completed your course as part of its reporting responsibilities in relation to Graduate Route. You cannot apply for Graduate Route until the University has reported.
If you have resits, repeats or referrals this may affect your ability to apply for the Graduate Route. You will need to contact us as soon as you know you have repeats, resits or referrals so we can provide advice for your situation. If you have any of these, you may need a visa extension but in some cases this will also mean you are not eligible for the Graduate Route.
Additionally, if you do not achieve the award for the programme of study stated on your original CAS, you will not be eligible to a apply. For example, if you have been studying a masters degree but only been awarded a PgDip, you will not be eligible to apply for the Graduate Visa.
If you are not satisfied with your outcome and are considering making an academic appeal, or a claim for post-board extenuating circumstances meaning your results are subject to change, please inform us as a matter of urgency. In doing so, please be aware that the University may withdraw the report to the UKVI, which will make you ineligible to apply for Graduate Route at this time.
You cannot apply to the scheme if you have previously held a Graduate Route visa or Doctorate Extension Scheme visa. You can only apply for and be granted the Graduate Route visa once.
There is nothing in the current rules to prevent those who have previously held a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) route applying to the Graduate route.
As part of the Application Process, the University will need to confirm your qualification to the Home Office before the day you apply. The University will email you confirming when this report has been made to let you know it is okay to apply.
If you are not sure whether your qualification is eligible, please contact us:
- Email Student Services firstname.lastname@example.org with your question.
- Come to one of our general drop in sessions: chat with us live on Zoom 09:30–10:30, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We are also available for in-person sessions at the Student Hub in the Charles Seale-Hayne library on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 09:30–10:30 (no need to book).
How much will it cost me?
You will need to make the following payments at the point of application, by debit or credit card:
- Application fee: £822 per applicant.
- Immigration Health Surcharge: £624 per year. Undergraduate and masters graduates will pay £1,248 for a two year visa, PhD graduate will pay £1,872 for a three year visa.
Important: There is a Government proposal to increase the fee from £624 to £1,035 per year from January 2024. This is not yet detailed or confirmed on the Gov.UK website.
There is no requirement to show you have a certain amount of money (known as the 'maintenance requirement') in a bank account. However, you will of course still need money to pay your living costs. Do you have enough money to support yourself until you find work? What is your back up plan if you do not find work? As with your Tier 4 or Student permission you will not have access to public funds
, including any welfare benefits aimed at those who are not working or on a low income.
How feasible is it for you to find a job in the UK under the current circumstances? Seek advice from our Careers Service
How can I apply?
You can only apply in the UK. There is no provision to apply in your home country or in any other country other than the UK. If you are currently outside the UK with valid Tier 4 or Student permission, you will need to travel to the UK before it expires and refer to the question above ‘When do I need to arrive in the UK if I want to apply for the Graduate visa?’
Before you can apply, the University will need to report on your CAS that you have successfully completed your course. This reporting should happen automatically when your results are officially confirmed and published. You must have successfully completed your course and achieved the qualification outcome and must appear to meet the eligibility criteria for the route. If you have an ongoing appeal publication of your results may be delayed.
1) The UKVI Compliance team will email you once this reporting has been done. If you have not heard from them within 10 working days of your results being published you can email them at UKVIemail@example.com
2) Please ensure you have checked your junk folder first in case the email is there.
3) We will do our best to ensure your successful completion is reported to UKVI in a timely way, but if your visa is expiring very soon and you have not received the email mentioned above, please get in touch with us.
4) Apply for the Graduate visa
- The process will be entirely online for most.
- You will need to download the UK Immigration: ID check app.
- Verify your ID by scanning your ID document using the app and then completing the rest of the application form.
- Most will not get a BRP, but permission will be electronic.
Can dependants join me on this Graduate visa?
Your partner and/or child under 18 who is already in the UK as your Tier 4 or Student dependant can apply to extend their stay as your Graduate visa dependant.
A partner or child who is outside the UK cannot apply for a visa as your Graduate visa dependant. They would need to apply as your Student dependant, if eligible, and come to the UK on that basis then apply for permission to stay on as your Graduate visa dependant.
You will need to pay the same application and Immigration Health Surcharge fees for each dependant.
What type of work can I do?
While your Graduate visa application is pending, you can continue to work under the conditions of your Student or Tier 4 permission. See Student work
When your Graduate visa permission is issued you can do any work, either employed or self-employed, except working as a professional sportsperson or coach. You can take work at any level of salary or skill, but if your plan is to find a job for which you can eventually be sponsored under the Skilled Worker route, you should check which jobs are eligible for that.
Employers should know about the new Graduate visa, and they should understand that with this permission you can take any work you wish without sponsorship and without any special actions for the employer. However you may be their first employee with the Graduate visa, and they may not fully understand the route at first. You can refer their HR to this very basic guidance from the Home Office for employers
Can I study on the Graduate visa?
Study is restricted under the Graduate visa. The study condition states that you cannot study any course which could in theory be sponsored under the Student route.
Examples of permitted study therefore include:
- Part-time undergraduate course
- English language courses
- Some professional courses
- Any study at a college or university that is not a Student route visa sponsor
- Online study
- Evening classes
- Recreational courses
Graduate dependants do not have this study restriction.