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Extend stay for up to two years after graduating
This route opened to applications on the 1 July 2021 as an alternative to the skilled worker visa or the intra company transfer visa.
One of the key advantages of the graduate visa is that you don’t need to have secured an offer of a job from a UK employer before you apply for a post study work visa. That means a graduate can take their time to find the right employment and, if necessary, work in a number of temporary jobs until they can find the best employment to start them on their career.
International students in the UK may be eligible to apply under the Graduate route to extend their stay for up to two years after graduating with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, or three years if studying a PhD.
To be eligible, students will have to have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK higher education institution, and they must be able to evidence a clear and compliant immigration record.
Graduates will be free to use the two (or three) years to find a job and to work, with no restrictions on the type or skill level of the role during this period of leave. This includes using this time to find sponsored work and switching to the Skilled Worker route.
The visa is open to students of all subjects and disciplines.
There will also be no cap on the number of post-study work visas available.
The new route is intended to open up the UK job market to international graduates and employers are expected to adjust their entry-level recruitment and graduate programmes to take full advantage of the new rules.
The post study work visa is both employer and employee friendly as the UK employer does not need a sponsor licence to employ an overseas worker on a graduate visa and the graduate visa applicant therefore does not need a sponsoring employer. That means the international student applying for a graduate visa has a full range of employer options and isn’t restricted to those UK employers who hold a sponsor licence to enable them to sponsor a skilled worker visa holder.
The graduate visa isn’t restricted to certain types of work. That means a UK employer can recruit someone to fill any level of job on any salary, without having to consider standard occupation codes, skill requirements or the minimum salary threshold. The post study work visa is flexible enough to allow you to employ someone as a barista, labourer on a construction site or on a trainee management programme. That’s because the graduate visa eligibility criteria focus on the student’s qualification rather than the job.
One of the key advantages of the graduate visa is that you don’t need to have secured an offer of a job from a UK employer before you apply for a post study work visa. That means a graduate can take their time to find the right employment and , if necessary, work in a number of temporary jobs until they can find the best employment to start them on their career.
The eligibility criteria for the post study work visa
The application is made whilst the student is in the UK on a student visa and their course was undertaken whilst on a student visa. The immigration rules state that applicants must have studied their course in the UK for at least one year or the full length of their course, whichever is the shorter period.
The application is made after successfully completing a bachelor’s degree or a postgraduate degree in the UK with an approved education provider with a track record of sponsorship compliance.
To book a consultation or to speak to an MLC Immigration Lawyer call 0161 224 4224. Or fill out the form below.