The Graduate Route visa

International students who have successfully completed an undergraduate or Masters degree are able to remain in the UK for work for two years after graduation, through the Graduate route.

PhD students who successfully complete their course will be able to stay for up to three years.

The work can be in any sector and at any level* without any minimum salary requirements or the need for visa sponsorship. For this reason it is really useful for new graduates looking to gain work experience before returning home, or for those looking to gain expereince and then look for an opportunity to switch to a Skilled Worker visa.

*except working as a professional sportsperson or coach

Important considerations:

  • You can only apply from within the UK and you must apply before your Tier 4/Student visa expires. You should not leave the UK while your visa application is being processed as your application will be treated as withdrawn. Therefore you will not be able to leave the UK for a holiday until your visa is in place.
  • Time spent in the UK under the Graduate route does not lead to settlement, except as part of the Long Residence provision.
  • You cannot switch from a skilled worker visa back into a graduate visa.
  • You can switch back to a student visa from the Graduate visa in order to pursue further study but after this study you cannot have a 2nd Graduate visa.

Please use the UKCISA and the UK Home office websites for a full list and detailed explanation of the visa options and requirements and guidance on applying.