The Graduate route

The new Graduate route launching in July 2021 gives students the opportunity to work in the UK for up to two years once they graduate.

There is no minimum salary threshold and no occupational requirements.  Once the two years have expired they can switch to a skilled worker route visa which can last up to five years and can help them qualify for permanent residency in the UK.

Here are more details:

  • The Graduate route which will open for applications on 1 July 2021 will make it easier for the best international graduates to secure skilled jobs in the UK. The Graduate route will allow international students who have completed undergraduate and master’s degrees in the UK to stay for two years.
  • 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. 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.
  • Please note: only students who graduate AFTER April 2021 can apply.
  • 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.