Graduate Immigration Route

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The Graduate Immigration Route Visa

The Graduate Immigration route allows you to apply for a visa to remain in the UK for two years after successfully completing your studies to undertake work. If you successfully complete a PhD you will be granted a three year visa to undertake work.

If you successfully apply for this visa you will be able to undertake any work at any skill level, with the exception of being a professional sportsperson or coach.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions 

We have provided answers below to a range of frequently asked questions regarding the Graduate Route Immigration Visa. If you have any further questions please contact the International Advice team by email at

In order to meet the academic requirements of the Graduate Route, the University must have confirmed to the Home Office that you have ‘successfully completed’ your course. Please refer to the ‘Will I be eligible to apply?’ section for further information about what this means.

In most cases, if you meet this academic requirement the University will report this to the Home Office within two weeks of your final results being released, following a Board of Examiners. If you are unsure when you may receive your final results please contact your School.

The University will inform you once this report has been made to the Home Office and it is at this point that you can submit your application to the Home Office. You can submit your application via the UK government webpage here.

You can also find further information about how to apply by clicking here.

If your visa will expire within two weeks of your results being released please email to inform us of this and we may be able to make an early report. If you do not hear from us before your visa will expire you should still submit the Graduate Route application before your visa expires.

For further information please refer to the Graduate Route section (page 6) of the CAS Issuance Policy by clicking here.

The application fee will be £700 and an Immigration Health Surcharge Payment will also be required. The Immigration Health Surcharge Payment due will be £624 x per year of permission that you will be granted.

Please note that a full assessment of your eligibility must be completed by the Home Office, however below are some of the points you will be required to meet. Please be aware that these are subject to change with little or no notice.

  • You must be in the UK at the point of applying

  • You must hold Tier 4 or Student Visa leave that has not expired at the point of applying (with the exception of leave granted under the Doctorate Extension Scheme where you would not be eligible)

  • You must have successfully completed the course for which your original CAS was assigned, or a course that you have transferred to. Your course must be at degree level or above.

  • You must have permission from your financial sponsor (if you are sponsored by a government sponsor or an international scholarship agency)

  • If your course is longer than 12 months, you must have spent at least the last 12 months studying your course from inside the UK (There are exceptions to this as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, please see below)

  • If your course 12 months or less, you must have spent the full duration of your course in the UK. There are exceptions to this as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, please see below.

  • You must have paid your tuition fees in full, including any outstanding debts. This is in line with Part H, 6.6 of the University General Regulations. The University will not confirm that you meet the academic requirement to the Home Office if you have outstanding tuition fee debt. If you wish to discuss how to pay your tuition fees or set up a payment plan please email

  • Please be aware that if you have resits to complete and these affect the original course end date on your CAS, this may affect your eligibility for the Graduate Route visa. Please email if you have any questions.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Home Office have made some exceptions to the length of time you must have been studying from within the UK to be eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route Visa.

  • Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or Spring 2021 via distance learning, and who had not previously entered the UK to study that course will be able to make a Graduate application if they made a successful Student visa application and arrived in the UK either before their visa ended or by 27 September 2021, whichever was sooner.

  • Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 who have existing permission as a Student to study that course, and who have already travelled to the UK during that period of permission, will be able to make a Graduate application as long as they are present in the UK before the end date of their permission.

  • Students who commence a course of 12 months or less in Autumn 2021 or Spring 2022 via distance learning from overseas must enter the UK no later than 30 June 2022 and complete that course of study in the UK with permission as a Student to be eligible for the Graduate Route. Students should travel once they are able to do so.
  • Students who would normally only be sponsored to study in the UK on the Student route for the last year of a longer course, such as those on articulated degree programmes, will be considered as being on a course of 12 months or less for the purpose of this requirement.
  • Students sponsored for a course lasting longer than 12 months will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021 or any distance learning which took place overseas between 27 September 2021 and 30 June 2022. If a Student’s current permission expires prior to 30 June 2022, they must enter the UK prior to the expiry of their Student permission rather than 30 June 2022.

For guidance is applying any of these concessions, please contact the International Advice team at