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 2 years, or 3 years for doctoral students. The Graduate route is non-extendable but they may be able to switch to a different visa, for example a Skilled Worker visa if they meet the relevant requirements, which allows them to stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.
The Graduate route is an unsponsored route, meaning international students do not need a job offer to apply for the route. They will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career in the UK as required.
International students can apply for a Graduate visa if all of the following are true:
- they are in the UK
- their current visa is a Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
- they 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
- they have successfully completed that course.
When applying for a Graduate visa, international students will need to:
- pay the application fee - this is usually £700
- pay the healthcare surcharge - this is usually £624 for each year they will be in the UK.
International students will be issued with an eVisa if their applications are successful and they can prove their immigration status to others, such as employers, by generating a ‘share code’ which gives them time-limited access to relevant data.
More information about the Graduate route visa can be found on the International Student Advice Team website.