The United Kingdom will open the new Graduate route on July 1 for international students who want to live and work in the U.K. after completing their studies.

Key Points:

  • The route is for international students who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher in the U.K. Successful applicants will be able to work or look for work for up to two years, or three years for Doctoral students.
  • The Graduate route will be unsponsored; applicants will not need a job to apply. Applicants will be able to switch jobs, and there will be no minimum salary requirements above the National Minimum Wage. The U.K. will not cap the number of students eligible for the route.
  • Applicants who began their studies in the U.K. in fall 2020 have until June 21, 2021, to enter the U.K. in order to be eligible for the route. This date was pushed back from April 6, 2021, because of travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A Graduate in this route may switch into the Skilled Worker visa category.

Additional Information: The U.K. is introducing the Graduate route as part of its switch to a points-based immigration system following the end of free movement between the U.K. and EU on Jan. 1, 2021. The new route is also part of the government’s efforts to increase the number of international higher education students to 600,000 by 2030.

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