Graduate Immigration Route

University-Graduate Immigration Route

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767


International students who have successfully completed an undergraduate, master’s degree or equivalent from a UK higher education provider may be eligible to live and work in the UK for two years after graduation. Under the Graduate visa category, PhD students are permitted to stay in the UK for three years, following completion of their studies.

The graduate route provides those who have completed their higher education course at a UK institution with the opportunity to stay and work, or look for work in the UK, immediately following graduation.

Key aspects of the scheme include:

  • Successful applicants being able to undertake work in any sector
  • Those on the scheme are not required to meet any minimum salary requirements
  • There is no need for a visa sponsor, meaning an individual does not need a job offer to apply

To speak to one of our solicitors about making an application for a graduate route, call us today on 0300 131 6767 or complete our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you.

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Who is eligible for the Graduate Route?

The graduate route is open to international students who have completed an eligible course with a UK higher education provider.

In order to apply for the graduate route, foreign nationals must have studied in the UK for a minimum of 12 months and be present in the UK when applying (subject to Covid-related exemptions).

In order to qualify for the scheme, graduates must have successfully completed one of the educational qualifications outlined below:

  • A UK bachelor’s degree
  • A UK postgraduate degree
  • A law conversion course
  • The Legal Practice Course in England and Wales, the Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland, or a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland
  • The Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland
  • A foundation programme in medicine or dentistry
  • A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)
  • A professional course requiring study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above in a profession with reserved activities that is regulated by UK law or a UK public authority

Unlike other immigration routes, there is no requirement to show financial information when applying for the graduate route.

Graduates who meet the criteria for this scheme will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career throughout the duration of their time in the UK.

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

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What documentation do I need to supply?

Under the Graduate route, you must score 70 points for successful course completion. Points are awarded with reference to the following requirements:

1. Successful completion requirement

2. Qualification requirement

3. Study in the UK requirement

Successful completion

To satisfy this requirement, a candidate must have been sponsored by a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; you must have completed the course during your last grant of permission to study; and your sponsor must have notified the Home Office that you have successfully completed the course prior to your application being submitted. You would need to show evidence from your higher education provider that you have successfully completed your course and that this has been reported to the Home Office.


To satisfy this requirement you must provide evidence that you have successfully completed a specified course of study (noted above) in your last grant of leave. Documentary evidence can include your degree certificate and your degree transcript.

Study in the UK

To comply with this requirement, you must be able to demonstrate that you have studied in the UK for at least 12 months of your course. The Immigration Rules specify that any period of distance learning between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2022 as part of a course of study lasting longer than 12 months whilst the applicant held permission as a Student, will not prevent an applicant from meeting the requirement to spend the relevant period of studying in the UK.

You will also need to provide evidence of your UK residence since your last grant of leave to remain in the UK. This can include providing official correspondence such as council tax bills, medical letters or any other official correspondence.

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How can Latitude Law help?

The expert solicitors at Latitude Law can provide expert advice on all aspects of Graduate visa applications. If you are looking to stay in the UK to gain some valuable work experience following the completion of your studies, we can help you to navigate this visa route, ensuring your application has the highest possible chance of being successful. We can provide detailed guidance about the requirements or prepare the entire application alongside a detailed representation document explaining how the relevant rules are met.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Latitude Law has significant experience of preparing successful Graduate visa applications. Thanks to our extensive knowledge of immigration rules, we are able to provide pragmatic advice and meet our clients’ needs. We have connections with the Home Office and other immigration authorities so we can advise you with confidence and ensure the entire immigration procedure runs smoothly and efficiently for you.

Working with a law firm can be a big decision, which is why we ensure that our clients are at the heart of everything we do. We are a highly driven team that is dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice.

As a boutique law firm specialising in UK-inbound immigration, our experts understand the complexity that constantly shifting visa and residence policies create for international students who are looking to kick start their careers in the UK. Our lawyers can provide up-to-the-minute legal advice on how any changes will impact your application.

We are pleased to be recognised as a leading law firm by the following independent bodies: The Times Best Law Firms 2024, Chambers & Partners 2024, Legal 500 2024 and Who'sWhoLegal 2024. These endorsements from the international legal directories demonstrate our integrity and success in dealing with difficult cases. We are also proud of our 5-star Google reviews from over 150 satisfied clients.

Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Let our legal experts take the uncertainty out of your graduate route application so you can start your successful immigration journey today.

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Contact us

As the requirements for graduate route visa are complex, to ensure success, you should seek specialist advice from an immigration solicitor before you proceed with an application. Latitude Law’s specialist lawyers can advise you about your individual requirements and ensure that your supporting documentation is compliant with the very latest immigration rules.

Get in touch with our legal team today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Face your future knowing you have the dedicated support of one of our expert lawyers.


Is there a fee to apply to the Graduate route?

Yes, there is a £822 application fee to be paid when applying for this route. All applicants will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, charged at £1,035 per year of visa. This totals between £2,070 for the two-year duration granted to the majority in this route, or £3,105 for those who have completed a PhD.

Do I qualify for the graduate route if my home government sponsored my studies in the UK?

It is possible that you would qualify for the graduate route, but students awarded a scholarship or sponsorship by a government or international scholarship agency must provide written consent to the application for this visa route.

Can I apply or the graduate route if my studies were impacted by the pandemic? Will I be penalised if I could not study in the UK during the pandemic?

As noted above, there is clear guidance that students should not miss out on the graduate route as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. If you were a student in the UK and your course had shifted to distance learning as a result of the pandemic, you may still qualify for the graduate scheme – even if you carried out this distance learning outside of the UK.

You will still have had to complete your course and meet all other requirements to apply for the route.

Can I settle in the UK after completing time as a graduate?

No, this is not a settlement route. Instead, the graduate route offers successful applicants the opportunity to gain flexible work experience in the UK after finishing their studies. If a person wishes to continue living and working in the UK once their time as a graduate is over, they would be required to apply for an alternative immigration visa.


As noted above, a Graduate visa is valid for either two or three years depending on if you hold a PhD. You cannot extend a Graduate visa.

Our other relevant visa services

Global Talent Visa

The UK welcomes highly skilled people from overseas and offers the Global Talent Visa for those endorsed in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, research, digital technology or the arts. Even if you qualify for a Global Talent Visa, previously titled the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa, it can be difficult to apply and succeed without legal support.

Applying for a Skilled Worker visa

A Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. It is open to individuals wanting to work in the UK who have been offered an eligible job by an employer with an approved Sponsor Licence. 

Applying for a UK Innovator Founder visa

The Innovator Founder visa route replaced the Start-up and Innovator routes in 2023. It is essentially a hybrid of the two. It is now the only route for foreign entrepreneurs to enter the UK to establish a new business. It is also available to those who have significantly contributed to an existing business.

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

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