It’s no wonder that the United Kingdom is home to some of the world’s greatest and famous universities with thousands of international students flocking to its shores every year to pursue their higher education.
According to the government figures, there were 5,38,615 international students studying in the UK in the academic year 2019-20, with about 1,42,985 from the EU and 3,95,630 from outside the European Union.
Despite this, international students find it difficult to obtain work in the United Kingdom once they have completed their education. The former UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, had already limited the validity of work visas to just four months. This is starting to shift.
The Graduate path was developed by the UK government as a new option for international students who want to continue working after finishing their studies. This allows the students to work or either search for jobs in the country without having to be sponsored by an employer.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students will have two years to work or search for a job after finishing their studies, while doctoral students would have three years.
This indicates that students do not require a pre-existing job offer to apply, providing them with the freedom to work and transfer employment based on salary or skill level or choose to work for themselves.
Students may also pursue part-time studies, English language programs, or nighttime classes — or any other course of study that does not, in theory, require sponsorship under the student path.
One must have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time of the application to be considered for a UK Graduate route visa. Except for allowed study abroad programs or studying remotely owing to Covid-19, for which particular allowances have been approved and the student will need to show that they have finished the entire course in the UK as a student.
Along with the student visa or Tier 4 visa:
- You will need to provide your confirmation of acceptance for the studies (CAS) number, which was issued by your university. The qualification listed on your CAS should be the same one you just finished and are applying for the Graduate path with. Contact your university if you’ve misplaced or don’t know your CAS number.
- Applicants will have to pay a processing cost of 700 pounds, just like the first Student or Tier 4 visa application.
- You’ll also be responsible for paying the entire amount of the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is £624 per year. It’s a steep price to pay, but you will have full access to the UK’s National Health Service, just like any other permanent resident.
- If you have any dependents, they will be responsible for paying the processing fee as well as the Immigration Health Surcharge. Only those who have already arrived in the UK under your current Student or Tier 4 visa are allowed to accompany you.
- International students who are currently studying online or using a hybrid learning approach as a result of the epidemic can still apply for a UK Graduate visa if they meet the UK’s Covid-19 student visa concessions.
- Only once your university has acknowledged that you have completed your studies successfully may you apply for the UK Graduate route visa.
- You don’t have to wait until you’ve graduated, according to the UK government; you can apply as soon as your final course results are handed to you.
- It’s critical that you submit your application while in the UK, since applying from outside the country would result in your Graduate visa being denied, and you may lose your eligibility to apply for the route altogether.
- Keep in mind that staying in the UK while awaiting a decision on your application may influence your eligibility for the route and eventual re-entry into the nation.
- Don’t be concerned about your current Student or Tier 4 visa’s expiration date. If it expires after you’ve registered for the Graduate route, you’ll be able to stay in the UK until your application is approved.
- Within eight weeks of submitting your application, you should receive a definitive decision. In the meanwhile, you can continue to work in the UK under the terms of your Student or Tier 4 visa.
- The UK Graduate route visa can be applied for either online or in person.
- To complete the online application, go to the GOV.UK website and follow the directions on how to register for a UK Visas and Immigration account and use a mobile app to authenticate your identity.
- For this, you’ll need your current visa permission (e.g., a Biometric Residence Card), which you should have gotten when you came to the UK to study.
- According to the place of your origin, you will be granted an eVisa or a new Biometric Residence Card if your application is approved.
- If you are unable to apply online, you can go to a UK Visas and Citizenship Application Services Center (UKVCAS).