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Graduate Route

 

Students holding a valid Tier 4 or Student visa, who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK Higher Education Provider, are able to apply 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). 

Information about the Graduate visa is below and we are also running a series of Graduate visa webinars 

IMPORTANT: Do not submit an application until you meet all the eligibility criteria below otherwise you risk a visa refusal or losing your application fee. This includings waiting until you have received an email from the University confirming we have notified UKVI of your award. 

  • Must be on a Tier 4 or Student visa 

  • Degree must have been awarded and confirmed to UKVI. You must wait till you have received an email from the University confirming we have notified UKVI of your awardYou do not need to request for this notification to be made, the University will notify UKVI as soon as possible after you are awarded. 

  • Must apply from within the UK before Tier 4 / Student visa expires. It is not possible to apply for the Graduate visa outside the UK 

  • You will need the CAS number that you used for your most recent Tier 4 / Student visa application. This will be included in the email from the University mentioned above 

  • You must have been physically in the UK, on a Tier 4 / Student visas, for all of your course (if your course is less than 12 months) or for at least 12 months of your course (if your course is more than 12 months). There are some exceptions for remote study due to Covid-19, see below. 

The usual expectation of the Graduate route is that you study your course fully in the UK. However, the government recognises that some students have needed to study remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you studied remotely in the 2020/21 academic year or will study remotely in the 2021/22 academic year, you need to arrive in the UK, with a valid Tier 4 / Student visa by the dates listed below: 

  • Masters courses started in Sep/Oct 2020:
    • 27 September 2021if you have not previously entered the UK to study your course. 
    • Before Tier 4/Student visa expires if you have already come to the UK under your current Student visa and then switched to remote study. 
  • Masters courses started in Jan 2021:
    • 27 September 2021if you have not previously entered the UK to study your course. 
    • Before Tier 4/Student visa expires if you have already come to the UK under your current Student visa and then switched to remote study. 
  • Undergraduate and PhD students completing in summer 2021: 
    • Before Tier 4/Student visa expires
  • Longer courses finishing after Summer 2021: 
    • Remote study during 2020/21 should be disregarded when considering your GIR application as long as you return and complete your course in the UK.
  • Masters courses started in September 2021 or January 2022: 
    • 6 April 2022 if you have not previously entered the UK to study your course.
    • Before Student visa expires if you have already come to the UK under your current Student visa and then switched to remote study. 

There is no financial requirement for the Graduate route. Unlike other visas, you will not need to keep a certain amount of money in your bank account or submit bank statements with your visa application. 

You will need to make the following payments at the point of application by debit or credit card: 

  • Application fee: £700 
  • Immigration Health Surcharge: £624 per year. Undergraduate and Masters graduates will pay £1,248 for a 2 year visa, PhD graduate will pay £1,872 for a 3 year visa 

You will need to fill in the Graduate visa application form and to upload any documents required. The application form (and detailed process) is available here:  https://www.gov.uk/graduate-visa 

You will need to prove your identity as part of the application process. You will usually do this using the UK Immigration: ID Check app. You will be directed to scan either your passport, your BRP or both. 

If you cannot scan your passport or BRP with the app, you’ll be asked to get your fingerprints and photograph taken at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point. 

You’ll be told what you need to do when you apply. 

  • Passport 
  • BRP card 
  • CAS number from last visa application 
  • Police registration certificate (if required to register with the police) 
  • Sponsor permission letter if sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency in the past 12 months. 

Family members who are currently in the UK with you as dependants on your Tier 4 / Student visa will be able to extend their visas with you. You will need to pay the same application and Immigration Health Surcharge fees for each dependant.  

Documents for dependants:

  • Unique Application Number (UAN) found on email from the Home Office about your application. 
  • Passport 
  • BRP card 
  • Police registration certificate (if required to register with the police) 
  • If your partner has been received financial sponsorship from a government or international scholarship agency in their own right in the last 12 months, your partner will need a letter from the provider approving their Graduate visa application. 
  • Evidence of relationship
    • For a child the birth certificate is required
    • For a spouse the marriage certificate is required. If you have married recently or do not yet live together we recommend including additional papers to further evidence that you relationship is long term and sibsisting. Contact us, what we advise you to provide will depend on your individual circumstances.
    • An unmarried partner is required to provide substantial evidence from official sources that show you have been living together for at least two years. This requirement can be difficult to meet and we recommend you contact us for detailed advice.

Dependent application form:

 

Study is restricted on the Graduate visa. If it is possible to apply for a Student visa for the course you wish to study, you will not be allowed to study it while you have a Graduate visa. In practice, this means that you cannot study most degree-level courses and will also be prevented from studying a significant number of courses below degree level. If you are unsure whether you wish to seek employment or pursue future study, you need to make this decision before you apply for your Graduate visa.

If you are granted a Graduate visa and then with to enrol on a further degree course (for example, progressing from a BSc to an MSc), you will have to apply for a Student visa to study that course. Your Graduate visa will be cancelled and you will not be eliglbe to apply for another one after your new course as you can only hold a Graduate visa once.

The Home Office has created a useful guide to what to expect when you receive your decision (page 4), how to update your details (page 5), switching out of the Graduate Route to another visa (page 7). You can access this guide here.

If you have any questions at all regarding applying for the Graduate visa, attend one of our Graduate Visa Digital drop-in sessions or email visaadvice@exeter.ac.uk and we will be happy to help. 

Once you have your visa, the Home Office have created a useful guide to what to expect when you receive your decision (page 4), how to update your details (page 5), switching out of the Graduate Route to another visa (page 7). You can access this guide 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.