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Get more detail about what The Graduate Route is all about, who it applies to, and what's involved by reading through our frequently asked questions. If you have any concerns, or a question not answered here, please contact the Student Support and Experience Team.
Staffordshire University can confirm whether or not you meet the criteria to be reported to the Home Office as successfully completing your award, however we cannot give advice to students about making an application under the Graduate Route, as this is an unsponsored route. If you have concerns about your eligibility, we would recommend you seek proffessional immigration advice.
The Graduate Route is open to graduates who have successfully completed their degree courses from a UK university and are currently in the UK with Tier 4/ Student Route permission.
Graduates from Undergraduate, Postgraduate and PhD courses are all eligible.
If your course is longer than 1 year, you need to have spent at least 12 months living and studying in the UK throughout the duration of your course; if you’re not in the UK right now, you just need to return before your student visa expires.
If your course is 12 months or less, you should have spent the entire duration of the course in the UK. However, because of the COVID pandemic, applicants who started their 1-year course in Sep 20 of Jan 21 must arrive by 27/Sep or before their student visa expires, which ever is soonest.
You sponsor yourself! Under the graduate route, you do not have an educational or work sponsor and your visa permissions are not dependent on where you work or study.
There are very few work restrictions under the Graduate Route. You can work part-time or full-time in most job roles. While you cannot be a professional sportsperson or coach, you can pursue most other work including self-employment.
This means that you can work in a job to support yourself financially while looking for work that can later sponsor you for a Skilled Worker Visa.
Please note that while you are waiting for permission under the graduate route, you will still only have permission under your student visa and any of those working restrictions will still apply.
You will need to make sure your employer is aware of your Visa status on the Graduate Route as you may only stay in the UK on this route for 2 years(3 for PhD)
You can study under the Graduate Route.
You cannot study any course that could be sponsored under the Student Route ie: you should not apply for the Graduate Route and attempt to complete postgraduate degree from a university that is able to sponsor students.
You can study short courses, online course, recreational courses or part-time courses. You should check with the education provider to see if they offer Student Route visa sponsorship on the course as these are not available to you on the Graduate Route.
The application fee is £700 though nationals of some European countries will have a £55 discount.
You will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge(IHS) which is £624 per year. This means you will need to pay £1,248 for 2 years(most graduates) and £1,872 for 3 if you are a PhD graduate.
You do not need to provide evidence of a certain amount of money in your bank account.
Graduates who have been fully sponsored by a government and/or International scholarship agency in the 12 months before applying will need to provide a letter showing the sponsor's consent for the Graduate Route application.
Dependents who are already in the UK as dependents on your Student Route or Tier 4 Visa can apply to extend their stay as your Graduate Route dependents.
You cannot add new dependents to your Graduate Route visa. They need to already have a dependent visa, connected to your Student Visa.
Applications will open on 1st July at 9.00am. The application is all online and you need to apply from in the UK.
If you are not currently in the UK due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you will need to return to the UK before your student permission expires.
If you started a course that is 12 months or less in Sep 20 or Jan 21, you need to arrive in the UK before 27/Sep/21 OR before your Student permission expires
You will need to have officially completed your course before you can apply.
You can only be granted permission under the Graduate Route once in your lifetime; think carefully about whether now is the right time for you to apply.
Research the job market in your industry; plan ahead and make sure you can support yourself if you don’t get a job straight away; you will still have the “no access to public funds” condition on your visa.
You should not leave the UK while your application is still pending; this will automatically withdraw your application.
Once you have been granted permission under the Graduate Route, there are no travel restrictions.
There is no choice about the length of your GR permission; if you are a PhD student who only wants the visa for 2 years, you will still have to pay for all 3.
You can’t extend your stay under the Graduate Route, but you can switch into several other visa categories if you meet the requirements of those visas.
Permission under the Graduate route does not in itself lead to settlement.
You need to tell us you want to apply!
We will then tell you when we have reported the successful completion of your award to the Home Office and give you your CAS number from your most recent Student Route/Tier 4 visa application.
Then you will need to complete the application by yourself.
The Careers team will continue to offer you support while you are job-hunting, even after you graduate.
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