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Business News/ News / World/  Finished studies in UK? THIS visa allows you to stay, look for jobs for 2 years. 5 things to know

Finished studies in UK? THIS visa allows you to stay, look for jobs for 2 years. 5 things to know

The UK Graduate Immigration Route has been revived in 2021, allowing international students to stay and work in the country after completing their studies.

UK Revives Graduate Visa, Offers Opportunity for International StudentsPremium
UK Revives Graduate Visa, Offers Opportunity for International Students

The United Kingdom in 2021 revived the Graduate visa that promises immense opportunity for international students, particularly a big chunk of Indian scholars studying there. The initiative enables graduates and post-graduates to stay back in the country for a certain period and look for employment, in case, they don't already have a job offer. As the UK presets plan for stringent visa rules for students amid a record net migration, here is all you need to know about the UK Graduate Immigration Route. 

What is the UK Graduate visa? 

The UK Graduate Immigration Route, reinstated in 2021 after being abandoned in 2012, permits international students completing Bachelor's, Master's, or PhD studies in the UK to stay back in the country and look for work. 

Unlike the Skilled Worker route, the Graduate Visa allows flexible job switches, voluntary work, and self-employment. The Graduate Visa also allows the holder to travel abroad and later return to the UK

Who can apply for the UK Graduate visa?

This visa route is only available to those who have completed their studies at an approved UK Higher Education provider and who hold a valid Tier 4 or student visa at the time of application, asserts Yash Dubal, Director at A Y & J Solicitors, London, UK. 

It is also open to partners and children who are in the country as dependents. 

Here's all you need to know about UK Graduate visa

  • The graduate visa allows the holder to stay in the UK for two years after successfully completing their degree and three years if they completed a doctorate. 
  • When the visa expires, depending on circumstances, the holder may be able to switch to a different visa route, such as a Skilled Worker visa, but the graduate visa is not a route to settlement. 
  • However, in such cases, it does not allow holders to apply for benefits. 
  • The application fee is usually £700 and those not applying for jobs in the National Health Service or certain care provider roles will also need to pay a healthcare surcharge.
  • Details of all the requirements and a list of approved universities and colleges are available at the UK government website.

How Suella Braverman tried to tweak the visa rules: 

In January, former Home Secretary Suella Braverman tried to cut the UK Graduate Visa route from two years to six months and required graduates to get a work visa by employment in a skilled job.

The proposal, however, was “killed off" by Gillian Keegan (Secretary of State for Education), according to The Times.

Indian students are projected to be the main beneficiaries of the graduate route because they make up the largest percentage of international students in the UK. Newly released government figures show there were 142,848 sponsored study visa grants to Indian nationals in year ending June 2023, an increase of 49,883 (+54%) compared to the year ending June 2022, and the largest number of study visas granted to any nationality. 

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Sanchari Ghosh
Sanchari Ghosh is a Chief Content Producer with LiveMint. She covers news, human interest, epidemiology and personal finance stories
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Published: 26 Nov 2023, 09:56 AM IST
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