The New Graduate Route to Work in the UK
The new Graduate Visa will allow international students who have completed their studies at a UK educational institution to find work and gain experience in the UK. Students who have successfully completed an Undergraduate or Masters degree will be able to stay for two years and students who have completed a Doctorate (PhD) will be allowed to stay for 3 years. It is expected that this Visa will be launched in July 2021 and that graduates will need to be in the UK to apply for it.
This new Visa is basically the re-introduction, under another name, of the old Post-Study Work Visa which was terminated in 2012. The UKVI website states that the Graduate Visa will be an unsponsored work visa, which means applicants won’t need an employer to sponsor them before they are eligible. There will be no cap on the number of visas awarded and it won’t be necessary to have an initial job offer. Graduate Visa holders will be able to switch jobs and work flexibly, and will also be able to be self-employed.
The immigration rules and guidance for the Graduate route have not yet been published, but it is expected that there will be no Financial requirement or English requirement (as applicants will have already satisfied this as a UK university entrance requirement). Applicants will be required to pay a Home Office application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge.
We will continue to update you on the Graduate Visa application process and eligibility requirements in more detail as the UK government releases more information.