Passport & Consular Services

What is the UK Graduate Work Visa?

The UK Graduate Work Visa, also known as the Graduate Route, is a visa category specifically designed for international students who have completed a degree at a UK higher education institution. This visa allows eligible graduates to work in the UK for a period of up to two years (or three years for PhD graduates) after completing their studies.

Here are key details about the UK Graduate Work Visa:

Eligibility criteria: To be eligible for the Graduate Work Visa, applicants must have successfully completed an eligible degree course at a recognized UK higher education institution. The course must have been a degree-level program, and the applicant must have been physically present in the UK to study.

Timeframe for application: Applicants must apply for the Graduate Route from within the UK. They can apply any time from their expected completion date up to two years after completing their degree.

Confirmation of award: Applicants need to receive their degree or an official confirmation letter from their higher education institution confirming the successful completion of their degree. This document is necessary to prove eligibility for the Graduate Work Visa.

No sponsorship or job offer required: Unlike some other work visa categories, the Graduate Route does not require sponsorship from an employer or a job offer. Graduates are allowed to work in any job at any skill level during the visa period.

Duration of stay: The Graduate Route allows for a stay of up to two years for most graduates, or three years for PhD graduates. The visa duration cannot be extended beyond this period.

Work and study permissions: During the Graduate Route, individuals are allowed to work full-time or part-time, switch jobs, and be self-employed. They also have the freedom to engage in study or engage in other activities without restriction.

Pathway to other work visas: The Graduate Route does not directly lead to settlement (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK. However, it can provide a valuable opportunity for graduates to gain work experience and potentially transition to other work visa categories, such as the Skilled Worker Visa, which may lead to settlement.

It’s important to note that the UK Graduate Work Visa has specific requirements, and the immigration system is subject to change. It’s advisable to consult the official UK government website or seek professional immigration advice for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the Graduate Work Visa and its requirements.

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