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Graduate route FAQ's

Graduate route is a visa which allows you to stay in the UK for at least two years after successfully completing a degree course in the UK.

What is the Graduate route?

The Graduate route provides an opportunity for international students who have been awarded their degree to stay in the UK and work, or look for work, at any skill level for two years, or three years for doctoral students.

The Graduate route is an unsponsored route, meaning you do not need a job offer to apply for the route. You will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop your career in the UK as required.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Graduate route is available to international students, who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance, and who have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application. You will need to have completed the entirety of your course in the UK as a student, apart from permitted study abroad programmes or remote study due to COVID-19, for which specific concessions have been agreed. You must ensure that you meet the full UKVI eligibility criteria before you apply.

How much does it cost to apply for the Graduate route?

The cost to apply to the Graduate route is £700 (for both two and three-year Graduate route applications) and you will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your application. This gives you access to the UK's National Health Service on generally the same basis as a UK permanent resident. The Immigration Health Surcharge costs £624 per year and the full amount needs to be paid when applying. Dependants will also be required to pay the application fee of £700, as well as the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Do I need to show evidence of maintenance or English Language?

The route does not require you to show funds or finance, and you do not need to demonstrate English language ability when applying, as you will have already proved English language ability by successfully completing your degree at a UK university.

When should I apply for the Graduate route?

You must ensure that you meet all UKVI eligibility criteria for the Graduate route before applying. This includes:

  • Having successfully completed the course of study which was undertaken during your last grant of permission to study on the Student route (including where you were allowed to change your course of study without applying for further permission as a Student, this requirement only applies to the course to which you changed to)
  • Having a current Student Visa or Tier 4 (General) Student Visa
  • Teesside University must have informed you that we have confirmed your award to UKVI (by the date of application)
  • You must be in the UK to submit your Graduate route application

What are the conditions of the Graduate route?

You must ensure that you meet all UKVI eligibility criteria for the Graduate route before applying. This includes:

  • No access to public funds
  • Work (including self-employment and voluntary work) is permitted, apart from work as a professional sportsperson
  • You are allowed to take up extra study, but you cannot study with a student sponsor on a course which would meet the requirements of a Student visa, and you cannot study at a state school.
  • Study is subject to the ATAS condition in appendix ATAS
  • Police Registration (if required)
  • You are not allowed to bring new dependants. Dependants already in the UK as a Student dependant may apply as a dependant of a Graduate at the same time the Graduate applies to the route.
  • The Graduate route is non-extendable and does not count towards settlement in the UK. However, if you find suitable employment, you will be able to apply to switch into various work routes from the Graduate route.
  • From the Graduate route, you may be able to switch to the Skilled Worker route if you meet the relevant requirements, which allows you to stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.

I am currently studying and interested in applying for the Graduate route after my studies. Where can I find out more information?

I have recently successfully completed my studies. When will Teesside University notify UKVI of my results?

Shortly after your award is confirmed, Teesside University will notify UKVI of your successful course completion. You will receive notification that this has been made and you should not apply for the Graduate route until you receive this notification.

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