The Home Office officially opened the new Graduate immigration route on July 1, 2021.

Key Points:

  • U.K. graduates from higher education institutions can now apply for a two- or three-year visa enabling approved individuals to stay and work in the U.K.
  • Eligibility requirements include:
    • Applicants must hold a valid Tier 4 or Student visa and have received a degree at the undergraduate level or above from a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance to meet eligibility requirements.
    • The education program must have been started and finished entirely in the U.K.
    • Applicants must have completed the qualification named on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) that corresponds with the Student or Tier 4 visa.
  • Applications can be submitted once the university has sent final course results; applicants do not need to wait until graduation to apply.
  • Applications must be submitted while in the U.K. and applicants should not leave the country or Common Travel Area while the application is being processed.

Additional Information: If an applicant’s visa expired after a Graduate route application is submitted, the applicant can remain in the U.K. until a decision is made. The new route was initially announced in March of this year as part of the U.K. government’s switch to a points-based immigration system.

BAL Analysis: The Graduate route provides international students additional time to work in the U.K. following graduation and serves as a pathway to apply through the Skilled Worker route.

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