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.
Applications opened on
1 July 2021.
You can see full
details of the scheme on the Home office web pages.
after Studies web page is also an excellent source to
find out more, please come to one of our live zoom sessions during the
following times and dates:
If you can’t make one
of our Zoom sessions, you can watch this excellent video from the UK
Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).
do I need to arrive in the UK if I want to apply for the Graduate visa?
The usual expectation
of the Graduate visa is that you study your course fully in the UK. However,
the government has recognised that some students have needed to study remotely
due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are studying remotely in the 2020/21
academic year, you need to arrive in the UK, with a valid Tier 4/Student visa
by the dates listed below:
- Masters courses started in
September/October 2020: 27
- Masters or undergraduate
courses started January 2021: 27
- Undergraduate and PhD students
completing in summer 2021: before
- Courses starting
- Longer courses finishing after
Summer 2021: Remote study during 2020/21 should be disregarded when
considering your GIR application as long as you return and complete your
course in the UK.
- Those starting courses in
September 2021 should be in the UK by 6
Make sure you
understand the full implications of travelling to the UK under the restrictions
of the current pandemic by reading the government web page: Entering the UK.
- Must be on a Tier 4 or Student
- You must have successfully
completed your degree programme at an HEI with a track record of
compliance, and received your official results. The University will need
to confirm this directly to the Home Office.
- Must apply from within the UK
before Tier 4 / Student visa expires. It is not possible to apply for the
Graduate visa outside the UK.
- You will need the CAS number
that you used for your most recent Tier 4/Student visa application.
- Paragraph GR 6.1 in Appendix
Graduate explains that for a course of 12 months or less, you must have
studied the whole course in the UK, and for a course of more than 12
months, you must have studied in the UK for at least 12 months. This is
called the 'relevant period'. The Home Office has confirmed that you are
required to have held Student permission for the whole of this 'relevant
period'. If you do not meet this requirement because you have been
distance learning outside the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may
still be eligible. You must come to the UK on your Student permission, and
your personal deadline for coming depends on how long your course was and,
for courses of 12 months or less, when it started and whether you are
entering the UK for the first time or returning.
- If you have been financially
sponsored in the last 12 months you will need sponsor consent.
- You cannot apply if you have
previously had the Doctorate Extension Scheme visa.
- You can only have permission
under the Graduate visa once.
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: £700 per applicant.
- Immigration Health Surcharge:
£624 per year. Undergraduate and masters graduates will pay £1248 for a
two year visa, PhD graduate will pay £1872 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. Please follow the steps below:
1) Once you are aware of your final results, complete the request for release of results form and UKVI Compliance will release your results to UKVI.
2) The UKVI Compliance team will email you once this reporting has
3) 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.
I speak to an advisor?
To find out more and
to see if you qualify, please come to one of our live Zoom sessions during the
following times and dates: