The New Graduate Route for International Students
From 1 July 2021, international students will be able to apply for visas under the Graduate route scheme.
The Graduate route visa will allow international students to work or seek work after completing their higher education course with a UK provider. This affords them a period of 2 years if they have completed their undergraduate degree or 3 years for doctoral students. Applicants will also need a valid Tier 4 or student permission at the time they submit their application and so this should be treated as the deadline for any such applications.
The purpose of the scheme is to encourage bright and talented students from across the world to stay and seek employment in the UK in an effort to promote diversified growth in the economy.
Unlike previous work visas, the Graduate route will not require sponsorship meaning applicants will not need to have secured a job in order to apply for the visa. There will not be any imposed minimum requirements such as salary or caps which allows graduates flexibility and freedom to secure and develop a career.
The application must be made from within the UK. The visa fee will be £700 plus payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year of visa term.
Once an applicant has secured a job, they can switch to the Skilled Worker route to remain in the UK past the time period granted by the Graduate route. It is worth noting that any time incurred during the 2 or 3 year period does not accrue towards their settlement application.