graduation in the UK

Graduate Visa UK

Overview

The Graduate visa UK was created in 2021 and is a popular route for students to stay in the UK after their studies. It allows foreign nationals to stay in the UK for at least 2 years to live and work once they graduate from a British university. It is sometimes referred to as a Post-Study Work visa or PSW UK visa.

Points Required?

70 points

Who Qualifies?

Foreign nationals who have graduated and achieved at least a bachelor’s degree from an eligible university in the UK. Applicants can apply with their spouse/partner and dependent children.

How Long Can You Stay?

Up to 2 years for bachelor or postgraduate studies, 3 years for a PhD or more. After this period you can stay longer by applying for other work visas.

Processing Time?

After you have submitted your online application, proved your identity and provided the relevant documents, 90% of applicants are processed within 8 weeks. You are allowed to remain in the UK during this period.

Cost?

£822

Eligiblity for Graduate Visa UK

In order to qualify for this visa you must meet several minimum requirements.

  • Achieved at least a bachelors degree from an eligible university
  • Studied at least 12 months of the course in the UK
  • You still live in the UK

Occupations eligible for Graduate Visa UK

The Graduate visa allows you to work in any job, including self-employed or voluntary.

Occupations do not need to be registered on the skilled occupations list.

Graduate Visa UK Cost

You must have sufficient funds when applying for the Graduate visa, the total minimum costs will vary depending on your circumstances.

Application Fee

When applying from within the UK the application fee will be £822.

Healthcare

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) entitles you to use the NHS if you become unwell or have an accident while in the UK.

You have to pay the IHS even if you do not use the NHS or even if you have your own private health insurance, the cost is £1,035 per year.

If you are applying for a 2-year visa you will have to pay £1,035 each year, therefore you will have to pay a total of £2,070.

If you are applying for a 3-year visa you will have to pay £1,035 each year, therefore you will have to pay a total of £3,105.

Sufficient Funds

You do not need to show funds it you have been living in the UK for 12 months or more with permission on the date of application.

Documentation required for Graduate Visa UK

You must produce relevant documentation that will require some preparation when applying.

  • A valid passport for the entirety of the visa
  • Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Criminal Record Certificate

If you are applying for certain jobs mostly in the public sector such as healthcare, welfare and education sectors. You will need to provide a criminal record certificate for any country in which, since the age of 18, you have been present for 12 months or more in the 10 years before the date of your application.

Identity

Evidence of your Biometric Residence Permit, if you were given one when you applied for your Student visa.

Can I bring my family?

This visa will allow family members to join the main applicant in the UK, they are known as “dependants”. You don’t have to be a permanent resident or have an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK to bring your family members. The cost for each dependant is £1846 as of January 2024.

Dependants over 18 can work full time in any profession throughout with no restrictions. The length of time allowed to stay is the same as the main applicants work visa.

The UK government is expected to restrict family members on this visa from May 2024. A further announcement with more details will be made in the first quarter of 2024.

Can this lead to British citizenship?

This visa does not count towards becoming a British citizen, only other work visas will contribute towards this. The Graduate Visa however does allow you to work and build relationships with employers who will sponsor you after the visa ends. This is an advantage over applicants who have never worked in the UK and are applying abroad.

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