Stay in the UK on the Graduate Route Visa

Stay in the UK on the Graduate Route visa 


If you’re thinking of coming to study in the UK, then you will want to know about the graduate route visa as it allows you to stay in the UK for a minimum of two years after you’ve completed your course to look for work.


Here we break down how the visa works and how to apply for it.


What can you do on a graduate route visa?


If you have studied an undergraduate or postgraduate level course in the UK on a student visa you are entitled to remain in the UK for two years after your studies and three years if you’ve completed a doctorate.


What does the Graduate route allow me to do?


Those on a graduate route visa can stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level, for a maximum period of two years if you have successfully completed an undergraduate or master’s degree. And three years as a PhD graduate.


Who can apply?


This visa is only for students that were completing or starting a course at a UK university from 1st July 2021. Furthermore, you need to prove you have successfully completed a full-time degree at a UK university, be living in the UK at the time of your application and be on a valid Student or Tier 4 visa.


What are the requirements?


First you need to be on a course that lasts for one academic year or more and be present in the UK on a Student visa (hyperlink 1).  Second, you need to be a current student with a UK uni. Third, you need to be in the UK to apply. And as part of the application process, which costs £700, you will need to complete an identity, criminality, and security check.


When can I apply?


The visa is only open to students who were on a full-time course or started their course in 2021. An application can be made as soon as you have completed your course and you do not need to wait until you have your grades or have formally graduated.


How to apply for the graduate route visa?


You apply online via the UK Gov website (hyperlink 2) and as part of the application you will need to scan your biometric residence permit (BRP) with the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app.

If you have difficulties with the application process, contact your university as they will be able to help you.


How much does it cost to apply for the graduate visa?


The application costs £700 for most applicants and £645 for those from a European country and covers the cost of applying for either the two or three-year visa.


Additional costs will include £624 per year for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which will give you access to the UK’s National Health Service. And any dependants of the primary applicant will be required to pay £700 as well as the healthcare surcharge.


Will I be guaranteed a job?


The Graduate route will not provide you with a job offer. However, if you have a master’s degree and a portfolio of previous work experience, this will increase your chances of landing an executive-level position, plus you can work at any level and in any sector during the period of your visa.


What other visas can I apply for?


If you land a graduate level job straight after university, first a high five, and secondly, that qualifies you for a Skilled Worker visa. And this is a visa you can apply for after the Graduate route visa expires.


Graduate visa: Overview - GOV.UK (