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Graduate Immigration Route

The Graduate Immigration Route will be available to international students who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance and who have a valid Tier 4 visa.

 In view of the coronavirus pandemic, UKVI published new guidance (paragraph 3.22 - 3.25) which states that if a new student starts a course on 'blended' learning or distance learning, they will be eligible to apply for the graduate route as long as they physically arrive in the UK before 6 April 2021, and have a valid visa when the scheme is launched (in the summer of 2021).

About the Graduate Immigration Route

On 11 September 2019, the UK Government announced the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years and three years for PhD students after they have completed their studies.

This route will also be open to EU/EEA students who will be due start commence their studies after 01 January 2021.

Student visa routes will be opened up to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. You’ll be able to apply for a visa to study in the UK if you:

  • have been offered a place on a course 
  • can speak, read, write and understand English
  • have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course

EU citizens living in the UK by 31 December 2020

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen living in the UK before 31 December 2020, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.


You should be able to apply if you:

  • have a valid Tier 4 Visa at the time of application; and
  • have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above; 
  • and graduate in the summer of 2021 or after

Application process

You must:

  • apply inside the UK
  • complete identity, criminality and security checks
  • pay an application fee and an Immigration Health Surcharge payment

What Next?

Keep up to date with information and stay informed about the other immigration routes for working in the UK in the event that the Graduate Immigration Route is delayed.

  • You can access the International Student Support webpages and moodle on working in the UK after study or visit the UKCISA website.
  • The  International Student Adviser delivers regular presentations on the various immigration routes available to Tier 4 students after you complete their studies. For more information please email [email protected]
  • Check out the Home Office's Fact Sheet
  • Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming posts about existing visa options!

Useful Resources