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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 Student Visa..

About the Graduate Immigration Route

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

The Graduate Route will launch on 01 July 2021

As a graduate: 

  •  You will pay an application fee of £700 and £624 per year for the Immigration Health Surcharge 
  • You will have to submit biometrics and undergo identity, security and criminality checks 
  • You do not need to be sponsored on this route
  • You must have successfully completed your degree
  • You will not be able to extend the two-to-three year period of leave during which work can be undertaking at any skill level.
  • You will be able to switch into skilled visa routes


The route is points-based. All applicants who are eligible for the route will be awarded the full number of points

  • There will be no English requirement
  • There will be no maintenance requirement
  • You will need to have completed the entirety of your course in the UK as a full-time student apart from study abroad programmes
  • Graduates who have completed their studies outside the UK due to Covid-19 will be allowed to apply under the graduate scheme on an exceptional basis as long as they meet the other requirements
  • The degree completed must have been the one named on the CAS associated with your Tier4/Student Visa
  • If you have been sponsored by a government or other international sponsorship agency, you must have permission from that sponsor to make an application to remain in the UK

What you can do on the Graduate Route

  • You can work at any level other than restricted professions
  • Self-employment will be allowed at the start but will remain under review
  • You can only supplementary study, but not at a student sponsor on a course type permitted under the student route
  • You cannot study at state schools
  • Dependants already in the UK as student dependant may apply at the same time as the applicant. No new Joining dependants are permitted
  • You can switch into work routes if suitable employment is found

Required Documents for application

  • You will need your CAS number from your CAS letter for your current programme
  • The College will have to confirm that you have successfully completed your programme
  • If you are graduate this year you must have spent some time in the UK. If you have not you will need to arrive in the UK before 21 June 2021


The route is non-extendable and does not count towards settlement. However, graduates who find an appropriate job and meet the requirements will be able to apply to work routes, including the Skilled Worker, Global Talent Visa (Exceptional Promise) which is a route to settlement.

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.

Useful resources