Graduate Route

The new Graduate Route will open for applications on 1 July 2021

To be able to apply, you must have successfully completed your course and you must have valid permission as a Student.

The Graduate route will be unsponsored, meaning you 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.

Students on the Graduate route 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.


Applicants who began their studies in Autumn 2020 will now have until 21 June 2021 to enter the UK (updated from 6 April 2021) to be eligible for the Graduate Route. Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will need to be in the UK by 27 September 2021.


Normally you must have completed your course during your current period of Tier 4 or Student permission and it must be the same course for which your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) was assigned. There are some exceptions one of which is:

If you could switch to a different course without applying for new Tier 4 or Student permission, you can use that new course as the relevant qualification.

If you are unsure if you meet the requirements, please contact the ISSS team.

There is no requirement to show you have a certain amount of money (known as the ‘maintenance requirement’).

How much will it cost?

The Home Office’s factsheet about the Graduate route says that the application fee will be £700.

You will also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) at £624 per year of permission that you are applying for. That is 3 years for PhD graduates, 2 years for others.

Further information

For further information on the Graduate Route visa, we recommend reading the Home Office Graduate Immigration Route Fact Sheet, and keeping up to date with latest student advice and guidance posted on UKCISA.

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