Graduate visa

GRADUATE VISA | Amicis Legal Services Ltd

The Graduate Visa offers an exciting opportunity for international students who have completed an eligible UK degree to extend their stay in the UK for up to two years (three years for doctoral students). During this period, graduates can work or search for employment opportunities in the UK.

Requirements for a Graduate Visa

To qualify for the Graduate Visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Successful Completion: You must have successfully completed a UK degree or an eligible course.
  • Approved Institution: Your degree must be from a Higher Education Provider that is a student sponsor with a track record of compliance.
  • Student Permission Period: You should have held permission as a Student for the relevant qualification in the UK for a minimum period of time.
  • Application from Within the UK: You must apply from within the UK and have valid leave as a Student or Tier 4 Student at the date of application.
  • No Previous Graduate Route: You must not have previously held permission on the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) or the Graduate route.
  • Suitability: You should not fall under refusal grounds based on suitability.

Graduate Visa Eligible Courses

To extend your stay on the Graduate Visa route, you must have successfully completed a degree at UK bachelor’s or postgraduate level or a professional course that requires study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above. The profession should involve reserved activities regulated by UK law or UK public authority.

You may also be eligible for the Graduate Visa if you were sponsored to serve as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer after completing an eligible qualification in your most recent grant of study permission.

Graduate Visa Sponsorship

The Graduate Visa is an unsponsored route, meaning applicants do not require a job offer or Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to be eligible.

Job-Seeking and Employment on the Graduate Visa Route

Graduates on the Graduate Visa route can search for work and work flexibly without any minimum salary requirement. They can undertake roles at any skill level and have the flexibility to switch jobs if needed.

Duration of Stay on the Graduate Visa

Graduates who have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree can stay in the UK for two years, while doctoral students can stay for three years.

Graduate Visa Extensions of Stay

Extensions of stay on the Graduate Visa route are not possible.

Graduate Visa Settlement or ILR

The Graduate Visa itself does not lead directly to settlement or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). However, after being on the Graduate Visa route, graduates can switch into other work-based routes, such as the Skilled Worker route, the Global Talent route, or the Innovator Founder route, which can eventually lead to settlement, subject to meeting the specific requirements of those routes.


If you have family members with permission to stay in the UK as your dependents, they can extend their stay when you apply for the Graduate Visa route. New dependents, except for dependent children born in the UK during a period of Student or Graduate leave, cannot be added under this route.

How Amicis Legal Services Ltd Can Help

Our experienced immigration barristers can guide and assist international students and graduates in navigating the complexities of extending their stay in the UK for further education or graduate work opportunities.

At Amicis Legal Services Ltd, we pride ourselves on being approachable, proactive, and dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to students and graduates as part of our professional and friendly service.

For expert advice and assistance, please contact us


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