The new post-study work visa, or the Graduate Immigration Route, allows international students to work in the UK after graduation from a UK university. Students can apply for the Graduate Immigration Route, which is available for students who have completed an undergraduate level or higher.

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Students Need to Have a Valid Tier 4 Visa or Student Visa When They Apply for Application

If you travel down this route, you can stay and work in the UK or look for work after graduating from a university in the UK. You can stay in the UK and work at any skill level for two years after graduation. For those who are Ph.D. graduates, they can stay in the UK and search for work for three years.  If you find a skilled job or you’re eligible for a skilled work visa, you can switch your visa to continue your career in the UK.

When Did the UK Government Announce This New Post-Study Visa Category?

The UK announced this new post-study visa category in September 2019. It will be open to international students in summer 2021. This means that they can enrol in a university and start their degrees in autumn. If you have already applied for the Tier 4 Visa category and your visa is valid, you can apply for the new post-study work visa.

How Has COVID-19 Influenced This New Visa Category?

The UK government has addressed the concerns of international students wanting to come to study in the UK during the pandemic. According to the UK government, international students enrolled in a UK university offering distance or blended learning will qualify for the Graduate route. However, international students need to be in the United Kingdom by April 6, 2021, in order to be eligible.

This announcement is important for international students who are unable to travel to the UK at the scheduled time. Most universities in the UK have also stated that the term will begin somewhere around autumn.

Some UK universities have stated that they would provide some form of in-person education if safe and possible. They plan to utilise technology to keep both the students and instructors safe. Now that you’re all caught up, let’s discuss the eligibility requirements for the new post-study work visa.

New Post-Study Work Visa Eligibility Requirements

You’ll be eligible for the new post-study work visa to study, graduate, and then work in the UK if you meet the following requirements:

  • You earned an undergraduate degree or a higher degree in the summer of 2021 or later from a UK university
  • You have a track record of compliance
  • You held and have a valid Tier 4 or student visa when you put in your application

Distance Learning Requirement

You’ll be eligible for distance learning through the duration of 2020 to 2021 on a new post-work visa if you:

  • Come to the United Kingdom no later than April 6, 2021, as stated above
  • You complete your final semester at the university in the UK

The UK Home Office states that international students will still require extant leave as Tier 4 international students when this graduation route programme launches in 2020 and need to meet all the outlined criteria to qualify for it.


If you meet all the requirements for the new post-study work visa, you’ll need to send in a new application, which will cover the expenses of your visa and your immigration health surcharge. They have yet to determine or announce the exact fee.


Find Out If Your Question Is Answered Here

The Graduate Immigration Route has given several potential international students already studying in the UK a renewed home. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions:

Are you eligible for the graduate immigration route if you started studying in the United Kingdom before the government announced the new post-study work visa?

Yes, you are still eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route if you were already studying in the United Kingdom when the government announced this new post-study work visa. However, the only requirement is that your Tier 4 or student visa must be currently valid with you graduating from the UK university in the summer of 2021 or later.

Why won’t the UK government launch the graduate immigration route programmer sooner?

The UK Government stated that the reason for launching the Graduate Immigration Route is taking longer than usual is because they have to ensure the framework is properly in place. For this reason, the UK Government plans to introduce it in the summer of 2021 or later, regardless of when the international student start their program.

Will the graduate immigration route count towards settling in the United Kingdom?

Not directly, the Graduate Immigration Route will not count towards settling in the United Kingdom, and it is non-extendable. However, international students who can find the right job in the UK and meet all the requirements can become skilled workers in the UK, which does count towards settling in the UK. However, if any student is in the UK lawfully stays for 10 years,, including this post-work visa period, they will be able to apply for the settlement visa (ILR).

Will your university sponsor your application for the graduate immigration route?

No, because international students do not need their university to sponsor the new post-study work visa.

How many international students can apply for the graduate immigration route?

The UK government hasn’t set a cap on the number of people who can take advantage of the Graduate Immigration Route. As Brexit is taking place, this will create potential opportunities for international students to look for graduate jobs and settle in the UK.

Does the new post-study visa place any type of restriction on the type of work international students can perform?

For the Graduate Immigration Route, the UK Government has established no minimum salary level. Hence, international students can search for advanced job roles related to their degree, or they can develop their CVs by gaining experience in other job positions in the UK.

What will happen if you don’t find work after you complete your degree?

International students don’t need to qualify for the new post-work visa, and durations of unemployment won’t impact the visa’s length. However, international students must secure a job within the specified period in order to secure migration to the UK.

What will happen once your new post-work visa expires?

Once the two-year or three-year duration of the Graduate Immigration Route expires, depending on the type of degree you obtain from the UK university, you will have two options. You can either leave the UK or apply for another type of visa to stay in the UK, such as the Tier 2 General Work Visa.

For the Tier 2 General Work Visa, you will need an employment offer with a minimum salary and skill level. However, the Graduate Immigration Route gives you enough time to secure a job in the UK. If you don’t qualify for the Tier 2 visa, you can’t apply for another Graduate Immigration Route visa. However, if you wish, you can switch to a student visa.

Do you need to re-apply if you were on a Tier 4 visa?

You will need to apply again separately for the Graduate Immigration Route and do it before the expiration date of your Tier 4 visa.

Did we not answer your question? Do you need more information on the new post-study work visa or the Graduate Immigration Route? If you do, we’re here for you. Reach out to us today.