Graduate Route (Post Study Work) Visa

Stay and work in the UK after your studies.

Student Services - bill-oxford-rdLERs3ZGgQ-unsplash
This page is brought to you by the Advice Service

The Graduate Route launched on 1 July 2021. It allows students who have completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree to stay for up to two years to work at any skill level, or to look for work. Those who have completed a PhD will be granted permission for 3 years.

You must have Tier 4 or Student immigration permission at the time of application in order to be eligible. You can only apply from inside the UK. You will need to undergo identity, security and criminality checks.

Please read our detailed guidance in the sections below to help you understand the eligibility criteria and how and when to apply. 

If after reading our guidance you need individual advice you can:

International students who successfully complete an undergraduate degree or postgraduate degree at the University of Lincoln with Tier 4 or Student immigration permission at the time of application will be eligible.

You will be able to apply after the Board of Examiners have confirmed your final results, showing that you have successfully completed your course. The Student Visa Compliance Team at the University of Lincoln will report your successful completion to UKVI, and you can apply after this.

If your Student or Tier 4 permission expired before 1 July 2021, you will not be eligible to apply (unless you can extend your Student permission first).

You can only apply from inside the UK. You must apply before your current visa expires.  

Normally if your total course is 12 months or shorter, you should spend the full duration of your course in the UK with Student immigration permission, if your course is longer than 12 months you should spend at least 12 months in the UK with Student immigration permission.

You will only be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route visa once, even if you undertake more than one eligible course in the UK. Therefore if you are planning to do a undergraduate and postgraduate course in the UK, think about when would be the best time to apply depending on your career plans.

You will need to apply by completing an online form. The process is not automatic. You will need to write your CAS number on the application form.

You will only meet the eligibility criteria for the qualification, after the exam board for your programme has taken place, and your results have been officially confirmed. You must have successfully completed your course and your successful completion reported to UKVI in order to be eligible.

Successful completion of your studies is when you have completed your programme and the Board of Examiners have confirmed your award of qualification. Programme boards normally take place  1-2 months after the end date of your course, however this may vary between Schools.

The Student Visa Compliance Team at the University of Lincoln will report your successful completion to UKVI. You can only apply after this.

You must apply before your current Student or Tier 4 immigration permission expires, or on the day it expires at the very latest.

It is not recommended to wait until the day your visa expires to apply, but if you do apply on the day your visa expires, please see the information from UKCISA about completing the application form.

The International Advice Service run Graduate Route application workshops throughout the year to help you with your application. Contact International Advice to book a place on a workshop.

 

The application fee is £715, and the Immigration Health Surcharge is £624 per year of permission granted. Your eligible dependants will also have to pay an application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge. Graduate visa: How much it costs – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you were sponsored by a government or international organisation for your studies, or were sponsored during the 12 months before you make your application for the Graduate Route, then you will need to provide a letter of consent from your sponsor. The letter of consent should say that your sponsor agrees to you remaining in the UK. This is required if the scholarship covered both tuition fees and living expenses.

As the University of Lincoln is not a government or international scholarship agency, you will not require a letter of consent if you have been sponsored by the University of Lincoln. 

We are aware that the visa application form currently asks you to provide a letter of consent if you have previously been sponsored by any official financial sponsor, however this is not in accordance with the Immigration Rules which only requires the letter of consent if you were sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency. If you previously received a scholarship from the University of Lincoln, you can write a cover letter to submit with your supporting documents to explain that a letter of consent is not required because you were not sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency.

If you were sponsored by a government or international organisation for either your tuition fees or living expenses, or both, then please check if the terms and conditions of your sponsorship permits you to stay in the U.K on completion of your course.

You will be able to work in line with the Graduate Route conditions once your Graduate Route visa has been issued. Until then, you should work in line with your Student Visa conditions.

This means that you should not work in a permanent job until your Graduate Route visa has been issued. This is different to full-time work, which you are permitted to undertake under your Student Visa conditions after the end date of your course.

Once your Graduate Route visa has been issued, you can undertake most work, including employment and self-employment and you can also be looking for work. You are not permitted to work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.

If your partner and children joined you in the UK as ‘dependants’ on your current Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa, they can apply to stay as dependants on your Graduate visa. All dependants have to be in the UK when the Graduate Visa application is made.

If your child was born in the UK during your current Student or Tier 4 (General) student visa, they can also apply.

If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours

UKVI have confirmed that students will normally be expected to undertake their studies in the UK to be eligible for the Graduate route. However there is a concession at this time, to allow students to remain eligible for the Route even if they have spent some time studying outside the UK as a result of the pandemic.

Students who started a 12 month course in 2020 or Spring 2021

Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or Spring 2021 via distance learning, and who had not previously entered the UK to study that course would be able to make a Graduate application if they made a successful Student visa application and arrived in the UK by 27 September 2021, or before their visa expired if this was sooner.

If you already came to the UK under your current Student route permission but then you switched to distance learning from home, you just need to return to the UK before the end date of your Student permission in order to be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route.

Students who start a 12 month course in Autumn 2021 or Spring 2022

Students who begin a course of 12 months or less in Autumn 2021 or Spring 2022 via distance learning from overseas must enter the UK no later than 6 April 2022, and complete that course of study with permission as a Student to be eligible for the Graduate Route

Students who started a course at any time that is longer than 12 months: 

Students sponsored for a course lasting longer than 12 months will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021, or overseas between 27 September 2021 and 6 April 2022. Remember that you must be in the UK with Student or Tier 4 immigration permission at the time of application. If your Student visa expires before 6 April 2022, you must enter the UK before your visa expires rather than 6 April 2022.

In all cases, you must meet all other eligibility criteria of the route in order to be able to apply.

PhD students will be eligible to apply after they have been awarded their PhD. They will be granted 3 years to stay and work in the UK.

Your previous Student Visa conditions continue whilst you are waiting for a decision on your Graduate Route application, provided that you submit (pay for) your Graduate Route application by the date that your Student visa expires at the very latest. Even if your application is still pending after the date that your Student visa expires, you are still in the UK legally as long as you have submitted your Graduate Route application before that date.

If you travel outside the UK before you receive a decision on your application, your application will be automatically withdrawn. 

 

As long as it is confirmed that you have successfully completed your course while you still hold valid Tier 4 or Student Visa  permission and are still in the UK, you will be in time to apply for the Graduate Route (subject to meeting all of the other qualifying criteria).

If you are an Undergraduate student who has resits during the late summer resit period, your results should normally be released in the September following the August resit.

If you are a Postgraduate Taught student who has resit exams, or you need to resubmit your dissertation, you would only be eligible for the Graduate Route if the resit/resubmission takes place AND official results are released before your Student Visa immigration permission expires.

If you are resitting your project or dissertation, The University of Lincoln will not normally issue you with a CAS or provide you with any documentation to support any other type of immigration application on the basis of your studies because there is not normally a requirement for you to be in the UK.

If you are resitting a project or dissertation, you should be able to do this outside of the UK. If your project or dissertation requires sample data, your school should provide you with this.

If you feel that you need physical access to the Library or other resources (though strictly speaking you shouldn’t need to if the decision is that you are re-sitting out of attendance), then you can use the time between now and when your current immigration permission expires or is curtailed (cut short) to use these resources.

If you feel that you need to spend more time in the UK preparing your dissertation than your current Tier 4 or Student Visa immigration permission allows, contact the Student Visa Compliance Team to ask if this will be possible. They will need to contact your academic school to ask if they require you to be in the UK to prepare or submit your dissertation and it is unusual for an academic school to support this.

If your application is successful, you’ll get either:

Students on part-time courses with Student permission at the time of application will be eligible for the Graduate Route, provided they meet all of the other eligibility criteria.

Please note, the UKCISA information confirms that you cannot start work until your Graduate Route permission is granted.

Quote Icon