Graduate Immigration Route

If you are an international student who wishes to continue living and working in the UK following graduation, Latitude Law can help you navigate this new post-study immigration route.

Our team of expert immigration solicitors has an in-depth understanding of Home Office policies, meaning we are well-placed to help you secure the right to begin your career in the UK after finishing your studies.

We understand how stressful it can be to apply to gain entry or remain in the UK, and that is why our team will work closely with you to ensure that you understand every stage of the process. Our solicitors will always be available to provide you with expert, detailed advice on all your options. 

If you would like to learn more about how Latitude Law can help you, call our team on 0161 234 6800, or complete our contact form and we will get in touch with you at a time that is convenient for you.

What is the Graduate Immigration Route?

From 1st July 2021, international students who have successfully completed an undergraduate, master’s degree or equivalent from a UK higher education provider will be eligible to live and work in the UK for two years after graduation.

PhD students will be permitted to stay in the UK for three years, following the completion of their studies, under the new immigration scheme.

The graduate immigration 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

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.

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.

How can I apply?

Applicants will need to apply on the government website using the dedicated online form that is now available.

For help applying, get in contact with Latitude Law who can support you throughout the process and work with you to ensure that your application is successful. Complete our contact form to arrange a call back or ring the team directly on 0161 234 6800.

How can we help with your Graduate Route application?

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 navigate this new immigration route, ensuring your application has the highest possible chance of being successful.

While this is a brand new route that is only now becoming available to international students, our expert solicitors have decades of experience handling all types of matters related to the UK immigration system. We will work with you to understand this new process and do all we can to help ensure you are able to start your career in the UK.

Contact Us

To speak with our experienced immigration solicitors about whether you qualify for the graduate route, or to learn more about other entry routes available, get in contact today. Call our team on 0161 234 6800 or complete our contact form and we will get in touch with you at a time that is convenient for you.


Is there a fee to apply for the graduate route?

Yes, there is a £700 application fee to be paid when applying for this route. All applicants will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, charged at £624 per year. This totals between £1,248 for the two-year duration granted to most in this route, or £1,872 for those who have completed a PHD. 

Please be aware that the same fees will apply to dependents of graduates, with a discount on the Health Surcharge for children under the age of 18.

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.

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 new route.

Can I apply for 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?

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 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.

If my application is refused, can I appeal?

While there is no right of appeal if your application to the graduate route is refused, you are entitled to an administrative review if a casework error was made while processing your application. 

You must seek expert legal advice immediately if you believe there has been an administrative error when your application was processed. If this error has resulted in your application being unsuccessful, you could be in a position to request a review.

If I want to stay in the UK under the graduate route can my family apply with me?

While not possible in every situation, there are some limited circumstances in which your family would be able to apply with you for this route. These include:

  • If your partner has or have last been granted, permission as a dependent partner of a student; or 
  • If your child has been granted permission as a dependent child of either a student or dependent partner of the student; or 
  • If your child/children were born in the UK during your time as a student

Contact an expert immigration solicitor if you are unsure if your family qualifies to apply with you for the scheme. 

Our experts

What our clients say…

Complex British Nationality Application

"Many thanks to the amazing Latitude Law team, especially Katerina Woodcock, Gary McIndoe and Anna Sullivan, for expertly handling my passport application. Mine was a very complicated and multifaceted case, but thanks to the wonderful Latitude Law, I succeeded in getting my passport in a timely manner and would definitely recommend Latitude Law for any immigration or citizenship matters. When working with them, you can rest assured that you are in good hands."
Ms B
February 2024

Administrative Review

"I would like to thank Jessica Lee and Natasha Willett for their excellent work over the last couple
of years. They have helped me secure permanent residence status in the UK and their professionalism
has been second to none throughout the process. What really impressed me is that they were prepared to
go the proverbial extra mile to achieve the desired result for me. They have been incredibly supportive
and easy to work with. Needless to say, I can highly recommend this law firm and would definitely go back to
them should I ever need legal advice again."
Mr Tom F
January 2024

Indefinite Leave To Remain Approval

"Dear Natasha & Gary,
We are very thankful for the approval of our Indefinite Leave To Remain. This incredible news wouldn't have been possible without your unwavering dedication and exceptional legal expertise. Your guidance and support throughout this entire process have been nothing short of outstanding.
From our initial consultation to the meticulous preparation of my application, you have demonstrated a level of professionalism and knowledge that has far exceeded my expectations. Your attention to detail and strategic approach truly set you apart as remarkable solicitors."
Mr Bansal
January 2024

All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 11/02/2019