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The Graduate Route: Everything you need to know 

The Graduate Route: Everything you need to know 

Since July 2021, the UK Government has announced a new Graduate route that allows international students who completed their UK bachelor’s degree-level or above to live and work in the country. 

It is a fantastic opportunity, allowing students to work on new or current job placements two or three years after graduation. 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A GRADUATE ROUTE? 

International students must complete an eligible course at a UK higher education provider. In addition, they must hold a Tier 4 or other student permission from the government’s immigration office to apply to the Graduate route. 

Eligible courses include: 

  • UK Bachelor’s or Master’s degree 
  • Law conversion course valid in England and Wales 
  • Legal Practice Course (LPC) or equivalent 
  • Bar Practice Course or equivalent 
  • Foundation programme in medicine or dentistry 
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) 
  • A professional course requiring study at the UK bachelor’s level or higher in a profession with reserved activities governed by UK law or a UK public authority. 

Students can apply regardless of nationality and do not need an employment offer in the UK. However, they must make their application from within the UK and should have spent 12 months in the UK whilst studying their course. 

Nevertheless, it’s a perfect place for students to start if they want to explore their employment possibilities in the UK. 

CAN INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS WHO WERE STUDYING ONLINE DURING THE PANDEMIC APPLY? 

Yes, in some cases. The UK Government has made a concession for international students who began their studies in autumn 2020 or January / February 2021 but have been unable to travel to the UK to study because of the pandemic travel disruptions. 

WHAT ARE THE COSTS FOR A GRADUATE ROUTE? 

The application fee costs £700. Students must also pay an Immigration Health Surcharge fee of £624 per year of visa validity. 

Employers do not need to pay any costs for the graduate visa, nor is there an immigration skills charge fee. 

ARE THERE ANY FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS? 

There are no minimum salary requirements, nor are there any limits on how many international students can have the opportunity to stay in the UK through the Graduate Route. 

Students can work at any skill level, and they can also work on a self-employed basis. 

HOW LONG DOES THE VISA LAST? 

After a successful application, graduate students can work or look for work for a maximum period of 2 years or 3 years for PhD students. 

What’s more, students can continue their education path, provided that their course does not require sponsorship as a student. 

However, this route doesn’t count towards settlement or indefinite leave to remain status. But students can switch to other routes or get a visa to stay in the UK more permanently, such as the Skilled Worker or Global Talent route, providing students successfully showcase that they are eligible under that route. 

HOW DOES THE GRADUATE VISA IMPACT STUDENT DEPENDANTS? 

Student dependants can also apply to extend their stay under the Graduate route. New dependants, however, are not permitted to apply through this route. 

WHAT OTHER TYPES OF VISAS ARE THERE? 

There are many options available for international graduate students looking to stay in the UK after they finish their study programme. 

Visit GOV.UK to learn more about visa options or learn about the Graduate Route. 

_________________________________________________________________________________ 

At Oxford International Education Group, we are committed to giving students the finest opportunities to advance in their education and future careers.

With our online international foundation, pre- master’s, or PhD preparation courses, you can increase your chances of admission to a variety of UK universities and advance along many chosen pathways, such as business, applied computing, or computer science. 

Get in touch with one of Oxford International’s admissions teams for more information

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