The New Graduate Immigration Route

Will the new Graduate Immigration Route actually work?

The new Graduate Immigration Route will be eligible to Tier 4 student visa graduates who have finished their degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK higher education provider which holds a “track record of compliance”.

In order to secure the ‘Higher Education Provider’ status, the Tier 4 sponsor (i.e. the educational institution) must progress through a 4-year period of assessments regarding compliance. Furthermore, the term ‘track record of compliance’ is defined in the Home Office Guidance as demonstrating a history of “immigration compliance” and “educational oversight”.

In other words, a graduate’s ability to apply for a work visa under the new Graduate Immigration Route is indirectly interweaved with whether their educational institutions are administered to standard. Students will therefore find themselves in a difficult place, as they would not be involved in university administrative system. Therefore, meeting the proposed new Graduate Immigration Route requirements are not completely in their control and consequently there will be chances that their applications be rejected for reasons that are beyond their control.

Types of Employment

The new Graduate Immigration Route will last for two years and successful applicants will be able to take on employment of any type at any skill level. However, at the end of the two-year period there will not be any extension applications available. Those who desire to continue working in the UK will then have to switch into Tier 2 (General) work visa by meeting its skills and salary thresholds.

When will this route be available?

This route will be open for applications in the summer of 2021. The Home Office released that “it takes time to develop a new immigration route and ensure the framework is in place for it to successfully operate”.