UK Graduate Visa

UK Graduate Visa: The Graduate Immigration Route

UK Graduate Visa: The UK has recently introduced a graduate visa for foreign students, which will allow foreign students to stay in the country for at least 2 years after completing their course. Eligibility for this visa is for students currently resident in the UK, who are holders of either a student visa or a Tier 4 such as general student visa, who have completed an undergraduate degree, postgraduate degree, or other course in the UK for a specified minimum period, or whose educational institution has confirmed their graduation. 

UK Graduate Visa

While the standard duration of this UK graduate visa is about 2 years, those with a PhD or other doctoral degree can stay for about 3 years. Graduate visa extensions are not permitted, but applicants may transfer a graduate visa to a different visa category, such as a skilled worker visa.

But it is very important to apply before their student visa or Tier 4 (ordinary) student visa expires. An educational institution, such as a university or college, can start the application process by notifying the Home Office of degree completion under a student or Tier 4 (ordinary) student visa. There is no need to wait until graduation or certification before applying.

Applicants must ensure that they have all the required documents at the time of application and the authority usually takes about 8 weeks to notify the results. The application fee is $822, and healthcare costs $1,035 per year in the UK.

Healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses and those involved in healthcare are encouraged to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa. Applicants can submit their application through UK official website.

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UK Graduate Visa Requirements

You must fulfill the following requirements in order to be eligible for a Graduate Visa from UK Visas & Immigration:

  • You’ve finished a degree program in the UK or another qualifying school with success;
  • You completed your studies at a higher education provider that has a proven track record of compliance as a student sponsor;
  • You are applying from within the UK and have valid leave as a student or Tier 4 student at the time of application; you have not previously held permission on the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) or the Graduate route; you do not fall victim to refusal on grounds of suitability. 
  • You have held permission as a Student, which was granted to study the relevant qualification in the UK, for a minimum period of time.

Who Can Apply for a UK Graduate Work Visa?

If you satisfy any of the following criteria, you are eligible to apply for a Graduate Work visa:

  • Currently, you have a student visa and are in the UK.
  • Using your student visa, you were enrolled in UK undergraduate, graduate, or other qualifying courses for a minimum of 12 months.
  • The Home Office can receive documentation from your institution or university proving that you passed the course.

UK Graduate Visa Application Process:

You must fill out the online application form available on the UK government’s visa and immigration webpage in order to apply for the Graduate Work Visa. Following the launch of the application, the steps are as follows:

  • Upload the necessary files. A list of papers to upload to your online application will be shown to you. Your papers can be in the PNG, JPG, JPEG, or PDF formats; you can scan them or take pictures of them.
  • Complete the application and send in the required funds.
  • When applying online, you have to pay the application cost in addition to the healthcare premium. Verify your identity. 
  • If you possess a biometric residency permit (BRP), you can use the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app to download the scanning of your BRP. You’ll scan your BRP and submit your info.
  • If you do not have a BRP, make an appointment and come to the UKVACS to present your biometrics. Even when you apply online, you can make an appointment. 
  • When you show up for your appointment at the UKVACS, you will be required to produce your fingerprints and photo.
  • Give more docs. The accompanying paperwork can be turned in when you apply online or when you show up for your UKVCAS appointment.


Restrictions on international students imposed earlier this year could reduce the number of students applying from abroad and increase uncertainty over the fate of graduate visas. Nine out of ten universities reported a decline in foreign applications for the upcoming academic year, according to a British Universities International Liaison Association poll of 75 schools, and a 27% drop in total applications for postgraduate courses compared to last year. A joint letter from Creative UK and Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, called on the government to reject plans to scrap or restrict the graduate visa route.

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