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Graduate Route Work Visa

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The Graduate Visa Route is due to be launched on 01 July 2021


The UK Government is absolutely committed to introducing the new, internationally competitive Graduate immigration route for international students in summer 2021. Key features of the route include the following:

  • The Graduate route will be available to international students who have a valid Student visa (including Tier 4 visa) at the time of application and have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance (Warwick is such a provider).
  • Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for a period of 2 years (3 years for PhD graduates). Graduates will be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job.
  • The new route will be launched on 01 July 2021, meaning that any eligible student who graduates in the summer of 2021 or after will be able to apply for the route. This includes students who have already started their courses, even if, due to COVID-19, they have needed to undertake some of their learning remotely (see Q1 below for further info regarding arrival deadline).
  • PhD graduates already holding the 1-year DES visa (Doctorate Extension Scheme) will not be eligible under this route.
  • The Graduate Route will include the payment of a visa fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge. The exact fee will be set out in due course.
  • Eligible students must apply for this visa within the UK when they hold a valid Student visa (including Tier 4).
  • For students who are completing the course in 2021:

    Students who commenced a one-year or a 9-month Masters programme in September/October 2020, will be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route visa if they enter/re-enter the UK on or before 21 June 2021 and complete the final part of their studies in the UK.

    For all other students:

    Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2021 via distance learning and who have not previously entered the UK to study that course will be able to make a Graduate application if they make a successful Student visa application and arrive in the UK on or before 27 September 2021 to complete their course.

    Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 who have existing permission as a Student to study that course, and who have already travelled to the UK during that period of permission, will be able to make a Graduate application as long as they are present in the UK before the end date of their course.

    Students who would normally only be sponsored to study in the UK on the Student route for the last year of a longer course, such as those on articulated degree programmes, will be considered as being on a course of 12 months or less for the purpose of this requirement.

    Students sponsored for a course lasting longer than 12 months will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021.

     

    The latest information is contained in a GOV policy plans document - UK Points Based Immigration System - further details, published on 13 July 2020, and the GOV Coronavirus concession - Guidance for Student sponsors, migrants and short term students (regularly updated).

  • No, not as things stand. You will need to have a valid Student visa (including Tier 4 visa) in the summer of 2021 in order to be eligible for the scheme.

    The only exception is if you are granted a period of academic extension (for example, if you failed your dissertation and are granted a 6-month extension to re-submit by the November exam board), and you are eligible to make a new Student visa extension application to have an additional 4 months (given by the UKVI) added to your revised course registration end date.

    The eligibility criteria for the scheme is that at the time of applying for the Graduate Route, you will need to have a valid Student visa AND you have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above using this Student visa.

  • Not as things stand, although you will still be eligible for the 1-year Doctorate Extension Scheme as the scheme will run until the new Graduate Talent Route is launched.

    However, you may become eligible if you are granted a period of extension before thesis submission, or, if you require a longer period of correction.

    The eligibility criteria for the scheme is that at the time of applying for the 3-year Graduate Talent Route, you will need to have a valid Student visa AND have successfully completed your doctorate degree using this Student visa.

  • Students who commenced a one-year or a 9-month Masters programme in September/October 2020, will be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route visa if they enter/re-enter the UK on or before 21 June 2021 and complete the final part of their studies in the UK.

  • Yes, as things stand and as long as the scheme remains in place at the time you complete your degree, you will be eligible. You will need to enter the UK before 27 Sep 2021.

  • You should be able to take most types of employment and self-employment, however, you will not be able to work as a professional sportsperson or as a doctor or dentist in training (except if you studied medicine or a dentistry degree in the UK).

    You should be able to work full time, part time or on a casual or fixed term contract. There is no minimum salary requirement or minimum number of hours you can work.

    This scheme doesn't lead to settlement (permanent residency in the UK). Therefore, if your aim is to remain in the UK longer term, holding this visa will give you a period of 2 years to look for and secure a job which attracts Skilled Worker sponsorship, at which point you can switch to the work visa.

  • Further information on the work permissions for Student visa holders during and after studies can be found on our 'Employment during and after studies' webpage.

  • It is possible.

    The current UKVI policy intention document outlines one of the eligibility criteria as follows:

    • (You) have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level (RQF 6) or above, and the course must have been the one for which their latest Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) was assigned. The sponsoring HEP must confirm the applicant meets this requirement;

    Please read the full guidance if you are concerned:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-points-based-immigration-system-further-details-statement

    If you are an offer holder and have not yet received your CAS or made your visa application, it might be the best to request a new CAS with the new course details.

    If you are a current student and have already changed course, do not worry for now. Check back in March 2021 when the new immigration rules are expected to be updated and we will post more information here in terms of what you might need to do.

  • Please click on the following link and submit our online contact form: