This visa route allows international students who have completed an eligible UK degree to stay in the UK to work, or look for work, for two years (three years for those being awarded doctorates) after they have completed their studies.

Eligibility requirements

You must satisfy the decision maker that

    • You have successfully completed a UK degree, or other eligible course;

    • You have studied at a Higher Education Provider which is a student sponsor with a

      track record of compliance;

    • You have held permission as a Student, which was granted to study the relevant

      qualification in the UK, for a minimum period of time;

    • You are applying from within the UK and have valid leave as a Student or Tier 4

      Student at the date of application;

    • You have not previously held permission on the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES),

      or the Graduate route;

• You do not fall for refusal on grounds of suitability.

How long you can stay

A Graduate visa lasts for 2 years. If you have a PHD or other doctoral qualification, it will last for 3 years.

The UK Graduate Visa does not lead directly to settlement, but graduates on the route are able to switch into other work-based routes which can lead to settlement.

Switching to Graduate visa

It is not possible to switch to this route. You can extend your leave via graduate visa if you meet all the requirements.

Family members eligible to join

If your partner and children joined you in the UK as ‘dependants’ on your current Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa, they can apply to stay as dependants as on your Graduate visa.

Further information, help, and advice

Our team of specialists has years of experience in visa services. We are registered with the OISC at Level 3 to provide Immigration advice and services.

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or at

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