Graduate Post Study Visa

The graduate visa enables anyone who has successfully completed a bachelor's or master's degree to stay and work in the UK for two or three years for Ph.D. students, respectively.

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Graduate Immigration Eligibility Requirements

Those who wish to extend their stay in the UK via this route, must:

  • Be in the UK at the time of application
  • Hold a Student Visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa and have successfully completed a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree, or other eligible course for a minimum period while on their visa.

To be accepted as a legitimate method to obtain the post-study visa, the type of course taken, its length, and the education provider must meet specific requirements. Some students won’t qualify for the Graduate Visa, particularly if they utilised their “wrap-up” leave to repeat referred/deferred modules.

Eligible courses

General UK Degrees, from Bachelor’s to PhDs are all eligible courses under this route. Additional recognized courses are:

  • a law conversion course approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • the Legal Practice Course in England and Wales, the Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland, or a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland
  • the Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland
  • a foundation programme in medicine or dentistry
  • a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)

Dependants and family

Only partners and children will be considered as dependants under the graduate route. If your partner and children joined you in the UK as ‘dependents’ on your current Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa, they can apply to stay as dependants as on your Graduate visa. If your child was born in the UK during your current Student or Tier 4 (General) student visa, they can also apply. If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as the main applicant.

Applying to the Graduate route

You can only apply to the Graduate route once your university has sent you your final course results and confirmed you have successfully completed your course. You must be in the UK when you apply. Those who apply from outside the UK will be rejected and denied entrance to the UK, and they may lose their eligibility to apply for the Graduate route in general. Furthermore, application fees may not be refunded. You must not leave the country whilst you are waiting for a decision on your application. This will affect your eligibility for the Graduate route and prevent you from re-entering the UK. If your visa expires after you have applied to the Graduate route, you will be permitted to remain in the UK whilst your application is being considered.

Switching into the Skilled Worker Route

If you meet the relevant criteria, you may be able to switch from the Graduate route to the Skilled Worker route, which enables you to remain in the UK while working for a recognised employer, who is a skilled worker sponsor. It is for a maximum of five years and contributes to settlement. The Graduate route does not count towards settlement rights under 5-year route. To be eligible for the Skilled Worker route, you must demonstrate:

  • You have a job offer from a Home Office-licenced sponsor at the required skill level
  • You will be paid the relevant minimum salary threshold by your sponsor 
  • You can speak English at the intermediate level at B1 (on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages)

You may also be able to switch into various other work routes including the Global Talent, Start-up or Innovator routes.

How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting clients on obtaining British Citizenship. As an SRA regulated firm, we act with the utmost integrity and carefully assess each of our client’s circumstances to ensure that the eligibility requirements are met and to identify any potential issues with the application. We are a multi-award-winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to providing clear, transparent, and reliable advice to our clients. 

Contact us today and find out how our friendly team can make the journey hassle free for you.


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