What Is The Graduate Immigration Route? Can International Student Stay In The UK After Graduation?

If you are an international student, you are probably wondering what options are available to you after you have completed your course. We at Mulgrave Law, have been often asked the above questions. Here we cover information about the graduate route.

Graduate Route:

The Home Office have confirmed that the graduate route will be launched on 1 July 2021. International students who have a valid Tier 4/student visa and have successfully completed a Bachelors, Masters or PhD will be able to switch tothe Graduate route.

Students who complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree will be given leave for 2 years and students who complete their PhD will be given leave for 3 years. Under this route, graduates can work (including self-employment) or look for work in any sector at any level without the need for sponsorship.

Graduates will be able to switch to skilled worker route if they find a job at the appropriate level with an employer who is willing to Sponsor them.

How can I apply for graduate visa?


The Home Office have not yet published the exact requirements but have provided the following information:

  • You must have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance.
  • You must apply from inside the UK before the expiry of your current Tier 4/student visa.
  • You must not have previously been granted leave under the Doctorate Extension Scheme or as a Graduate.
  • Your Sponsor must have notified the Home Office that you completed your course of study.

There is no maintenance requirement to be fulfilled.

Qualification requirement

You must have completed one of the following courses:

  • UK bachelor’s degree
  • UK postgraduate degree
  • Law conversion course validated by the Joint Academic Stage Board in England and Wales
  • Legal Practice Course in England and Wales, the Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland, or a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland
  • Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland
  • Foundation programme in Medicine or Dentistry
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)
  • Professional course requiring study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above in a profession with reserved activities that is regulated by UK law or UK public authority.

Study in the UK requirement

If you started your degree online in your home country due to COVID-19, you will be eligible to switch to the Graduate route if:

  • You began your course in 2020 and you enter the UK with a Student visa by 21 June 2020 and successfully complete the course in the UK.
  • You began you course in 2021 and you enter the UK with a Student visa by 27 September 2021 and successfully complete the course in the UK.

Dependants of a Graduate:

Dependants who have been granted leave as student dependants will be able to extend their leave as graduate dependants; however, this route is not open to new dependants.


The application fee is £700.

Immigration Health surcharge is £624 per year.

The exact eligibility requirements have not yet been published by the Home Office; we will provide further updates as and when further information becomes available.

Mulgrave Law are specialist student visa advisors, if you are looking for Top Immigration Lawyers in London or Top Immigration Solicitors in London, get in touch with us. We advise on all matters and our initial consultation is free of charge, if you decide to instruct us, we guarantee we will have top Immigration Lawyers and top Immigration Solicitors in London working on your case at the most reasonable charges.

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