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Graduate Route Visa

Graduate Route Visa

What is the Graduate Route visa?

It’s a new visa that allows international graduates to work in the UK for a period of up to two years (or three for PhD students).

Who is eligible to apply?

Graduates who have completed an undergraduate or postgraduate course at a recognised UK Higher Education provider, and have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa.

How much does the visa cost?

Employers do not have to pay any fees towards the Graduate Route visa. The graduate has to bear the costs.

Do we need a sponsor licence for the Graduate Route visa holders?

No, it is unsponsored, so applicants don’t need a job offer to be able to apply.

If we employ a graduate on the Graduate Route visa, what type of work can they do?

Graduate will be able to undertake work at any skill and apply to switch into various work routes from the Graduate visa. There are no minimum salary requirements or caps on numbers.

Can the graduate work while the Graduate Route visa application is pending?

Yes, the graduate will work under the conditions of their current Student visa while the Graduate Route visa is being processed.

How long does the Graduate Route visa decision take?

Once a graduate has applied online, proved identity and provided documents, they will get a decision usually within 8 weeks. 

How can we check right to work for graduates on the Graduate Route visa?

Employers will be able to conduct right to work checks for the graduates via an online eVisa portal.

What happens when the Graduate Route visa expires?

The graduate will need to leave the UK after the two year period (three for PhD students) or apply for a different visa.

What to do next as an employer?

If you would like to know more about the Graduate Route visa please contact Kirsty Henderson, one of our HR Advisors.


First Published 5 July 2021
Last Updated 5 July 2021

5 July 2021
First published.

Find out more about Kirsty Henderson

Kirsty Henderson

Kirsty Henderson

Kirsty is a HR Advisor in our HR team