In September 2019, the UK Government announced the introduction of the graduate route to international students from 1 July 2021. This includes students who have already started their course, even if due to Covid-19, they have needed to undertake online learning.
Although the official guidance has not been published, it is expected that to be eligible, international students must:
have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time of application.
have completed an eligible course at a UK Higher Education Provider
demonstrate a track record of compliance with the government’s immigration requirements
Applicants don’t need to be sponsored by a university or employer during their stay on a post-graduate visa.
How long can I stay on the graduate visa?
Successful applicants on this route at bachelor’s or master’s level will be able to stay in the UK and work or look for work, at any skill level for 2 years. Doctoral students will be able to stay for 3 years.
Graduate visa fees:
It will cost £700 to apply. Additionally, an Immigration Health Surcharge (£624 per year) must be paid.
Does this route lead to settlement?
No, the route is non-extendable and does not count towards settlement. However, graduates may apply to work routes, including the Skilled Worker, which is a route to settlement.
On 16 June 2020, the UK Government confirmed that international students studying remotely will be eligible to apply for the Graduate route provided they are in the UK by 6 April 2021 and meet the other requirements of the route.
We are prepared for the launch of this route and committed to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. International students can be assured that with the legal advice of Sterling Law, they will be able to continue their professional careers in the UK.CONSULTATION
The main requirement is to hold a valid student/Tier 4 visa. You must apply from the UK.
Undergraduate candidates (Bachelors and Masters) can remain in the UK for 2 years. Post graduate candidate (PhD) can stay in the UK for 3 years.
Graduate visa holders can:
work as employees
continue living in the UK
look for work
Your dependants (partner and children) can remain in the UK with you as long as they have been granted leave as your dependants while you were on student/Tier 4 visa.