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 after they have completed their studies.

Key Points:

  • The Graduate Route will be available to international students who have a valid student visa at the time of application and have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance.
  • 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 maximum period of two years if they have successfully completed an undergraduate or master’s degree. PhD graduates will be able to stay for three years. Graduates will be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job.
  • The new route will be launched in the summer of 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.
  • The Graduate Route will require a new visa application.
  • It will include the payment of a visa fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge. The exact fee will be set out in due course.
  • Those who graduate and whose leave expires before the route is introduced will not be eligible, however, most of these students will have had no expectation of benefitting from such a route when they applied to study in the UK.

The UK government has confirmed that if you begin your studies through distance learning in the 2020-21 academic year, you will still be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route, provided you arrive in the UK by 6 April 2021.