The UK Government has announced further details about the new Graduate route for working visas.

International students wanting to stay in the UK to work can apply from 1st July 2021.

Students ‘must have completed an eligible course at a UK higher education provider’ in order to be considered. The route is applicable to postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students.

The updated Graduate working VISA scheme allows international student to build their careers in the UK. It helps the Government meet its manifesto promise ‘to retain the brightest and the best international students to continue to contribute to society and the economy post-study’.

Key points of the new scheme

  • Students will be able to work or look for work after their studies for a maximum period of 2 years, or 3 years for Doctoral students.
  • The route will be unsponsored, meaning applicants will not need a job offer to apply for the route.
  • There will be no minimum salary requirements nor caps on numbers. Graduates on the route will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required.  

Entry based on when you commenced your degree

Applicants who began their studies in Autumn 2020 will now have until 21 June 2021 to enter the UK (updated from 6 April 2021) in order to be eligible for the Graduate working VISA scheme .

Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will need to be in the UK by 27 September 2021. 

Coronavirus concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic have also been extended, recognising the continuing disruption many face due to international travel restrictions.

Deadline for qualifying EU Citizens

As the UK is no longer part of the EU the rules have changed regarding students from Europe who want to study here.

The deadline for qualifying EU citizens to apply for a status under the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021.

If you qualify, you must submit your application by that deadline or you will need a UK visa to continue your studies in the UK.