Graduate Route

We know that international students will be worried by the Covid-19 situation and what it means for their immigration status and their studies in the UK.

We are hosting live webinars throughout the summer to help students understand the latest visa advice and to assist them with preparing their visa applications. Check out our schedule of events HERE.

Key updates (09 July):

Visa Application Centres are re-opening with reduced services, check VFS or TLS Contact for information specific to your country or UKVCAS for UK information.

Tier 4 Pilot Scheme closes later this year.  Masters students starting in October 2020 still qualify.

The UK Government has announced some updates on the Graduate Route.

Read the latest information on travellng to the UK (England) and self-isolating.

Useful links: 

Full Home Office concessions for students is outlined here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tier 4 sponsors, migrants and short-term students.

UKCISA regularly updates their advice for students here: Coronavirus (Covid-19): info for international students.

The University’s response to Covid-19 is available to read here: University of Exeter – Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information and Advice.

Finally, the trained immigration advisers in International Student Support are here to help with any questions or concerns you have during this difficult time. Please email us at and one of our advisers will respond as soon as possible.

The UK government has announced that it will introduce the Graduate Route from the summer of 2021.  From this time, students holding a valid Tier 4 visa, who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK Higher Education Provider, will be able to remain in the UK and work, or look for work, for 2 years after they complete their studies (or 3 years if they have completed a PhD).

Full details of the scheme are not yet available as it is not expected to pass into legislation until the spring of 2021.  You can find the most up to date information via the Home Office UKCISA have also published a summary and will continue to update their information as and when it becomes available.   

Whilst the exact start date for the scheme is not yet known, it is clear that Tier 4 students starting or continuing a degree programme from September 2020 will be able to apply once they have successfully completed their programme.  Applications can be made during the post study period, which is the period of time added to your visa after your programme end date.


As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic it is possible that some students may need or choose to study part of their programme from their home country before coming to the UK.  The UK government has announced that to be eligible for the Graduate Route applicants will need to be present in the UK by 6th April 2021 and then complete the final part of their studies here.

The University of Exeter is committed to ensuring that all our international students are provided with expert advice and support to enable them to secure a graduate level job, either in the UK or overseas.  For more information about the support we offer, please check our Career Zone information for international students