The Graduate Route Visa introduced by the UK govt in July 2021 where international students can stay for up to 2/3 years after their studies to work in the UK is a game changer.
It is common among international students, that soon after their studies they are required to return to their countries of origin for a minimum of two years before they can travel back to the UK. This was a setback for those students who may have wanted to stay in the UK to gain critical work experience soon after their studies. The good news now is that students are now able to stay in the UK for 2-3 years after their academic studies, under the Graduate Route VISA.
How long you can stay
A Graduate visa lasts for 2 years. If you have a PHD or other doctoral qualification, it will last for 3 years.
You can apply for a Graduate visa if all of the following are true:
- you’re in the UK
- your current visa is a Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
- you studied a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or other eligible course for a minimum period of time with your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
- you’ve successfully completed that course
If you’re not eligible for a Graduate visa, you may be eligible for another type of visa to stay in the UK.
If you want to stay longer in the UK
You cannot extend your Graduate visa. However, you may be able to switch to a different visa, for example a Skilled Worker visa.
Check you can apply for another type of visa to stay in the UK.