Applying under the Graduate route
Produced in partnership with Ben Xu of Irwin Mitchell LLP

The following Immigration practice note produced in partnership with Ben Xu of Irwin Mitchell LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Applying under the Graduate route
  • Key resources
  • Eligibility
  • Successful completion requirement
  • Qualification requirement
  • Study in the UK requirement
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) concession
  • Validity requirements
  • Suitability requirements
  • Period and conditions of permission
  • More...

Applying under the Graduate route

The Graduate route is an unsponsored immigration route which permits eligible persons with permission in the Student route to undertake full-time employment or self-employment in the UK, at any skill level, upon completion of their studies for:

  1. two years if they have completed an eligible Bachelor's or Master's degree in the UK, or

  2. three years if they have completed a PhD or other eligible doctoral qualification

The route was introduced from 1 July 2021, in order to attract and retain talented international students. It is in some ways similar to the Tier 1 (Post-study work) category, which was abolished in April 2012.

In order to be eligible, an applicant must:

  1. have studied and completed a degree course at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance (as defined in the Immigration Rules, Introduction)

  2. make their application from inside the UK, and

  3. have current or last-granted permission as a Student

All references to permission as a Student in this note includes permission under the predecessor Tier 4 (General) student category.

It is not possible for an individual to extend their stay in the route, nor is it possible to switch into the route from within the UK from other visa routes (including the Doctorate Extension Scheme). Also, an applicant cannot rely on a previous qualification obtained or previous

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