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.
Please refer to the
UKCISA webpage for further eligibility requirements: Working after Studies. Alternatively,
please contact ISA for the latest updates.
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:
- 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.
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.
can I apply?
Please look at the Graduate route guidance application document to help you complete the online Graduate visa application form.
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
- 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.
Once the Graduate visa is granted, you can prove your
immigration status using the view and
prove your immigration status service
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
You will need to pay
the same application and Immigration Health Surcharge fees for each dependant.
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.
If you want to set up
as self-employed, see the detailed guidance from the UK government
about all the steps and requirements. If you want to continue your business when your Graduate visa
permission expires, you will need to meet the requirements of an extension
under the Start-up and innovator
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.
‘Let’s talk about the Graduate visa’ Zoom sessions
Come along to one of our Zoom sessions if you want to discuss more about the Graduate visa.
Wednesday 23 November 2022, 11:00–12:00
Wednesday 11 January 2023, 11:00–12:00