Graduate visa

Effect on 1 July 2021

Graduate visa applicants must score 70 entirely notional points, accrued by being eligible for the visa.

The eligibility criteria are:

  1. Successfully completing their studies as a Student as an institution with a “track record of compliance”.
  2. Getting a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or certain professional qualifications like the LPC for lawyers or PGCE for teachers.
  3. Being actually in the UK for a minimum length of time, depending on the duration of the course and subject to exceptions for distance learning between January 2020 and September 2021 (a nod to coronavirus).

PhDs and other doctoral graduates get three years’ of permission to stay on a Graduate visa; all other grads get two years. All kinds of work, at any skill level, is permitted (apart from being a professional sportsperson). This means that Graduate visa holders will potentially become an important pool of labour for employers unable to sponsor Skilled Workers: those hiring them will not need a sponsor licence.

The same restrictions on dependants apply as for the Student route: only partners and children already in the UK as Student dependants qualify.

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