The UK Government have announced a new Graduate Immigration Route which will be open for applications from 1 July 2021. Current 20/21 students who still have valid Tier 4/Student Visas after this date will be eligible to apply.
What do we know about the Graduate Route so far?
The UK government have provided the following key points:
- The Graduate Immigration Route will be available to international students who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at King’s College London and who have a valid Tier 4 or Student Route visa at the time of application. The successful completion of your programme will need to be confirmed by King’s.
- You must apply for the Graduate Route visa from inside the UK before your Tier 4/Student visa expires. An application fee of £700 and an Immigration Health Surcharge payment of £624 per year of the visa will be applicable. Applicants will be subject to identity, criminality and security checks.
- If in the last 12 months before the date of your application, you have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship by a Government or international scholarship agency covering both fees and living costs for study in the UK, you must provide written consent to the application from that Government or agency.
- Successful applicants will be able to stay in the UK for two years (3 years for PhD or doctorate level graduates) to work, or look for work, in any sector and at any level. This route will replace the Doctorate Extension Scheme when it is introduced.
- The visa is not extendable and does not lead to settlement.
- Individuals who already have permission as a dependant of a student who is applying on this route can also apply to extend their permission as a dependant – however, new dependants are not permitted on this route. Children born in the UK during the last grant of Student/ Tier 4 permission of a Student will also be eligible.
For further information, UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) have provided a really useful training guide which explains the route in more detail below:
Applying for the Graduate Route
At this moment there is currently no detailed information about the application process. We will provide more detailed information about the application process when it becomes available. In the meantime, you can find more information on the route on the Gov.uk webpages.
UK Home Office COVID-19 Concessions
Part of the eligibility criteria for applying for the Graduate Route is that applicants must be in the UK with a valid Tier 4/Student Visa. The expectation is that the students will have completed their degrees studying in the UK.
As for most students this has not been possible this year; UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) have, therefore, introduced concessions to allow students who are currently outside the UK to enter by certain deadlines to be eligible.
The UK Home Office Covid-19 Concessions make allowances for students impacted by Covid-19 to still be eligible under the graduate route in the following circumstances:
Students on programmes of 12 months or less
- If you started your studies in 2020 but have been studying entirely remotely because of Covid-19, you will be eligible to switch into the graduate route if you enter the UK to complete your studies on or before 21 June 2021.
- If you commenced your studies in 2021 and have been studying entirely remotely because of Covid-19, you will be eligible to switch into the graduate route if you enter the UK to complete your studies on or before 27 September 2021.
- If you commenced your studies in 2020 or 2021 and are currently studying remotely because of Covid-19 but have a current visa for studies and have previously entered the UK for some of your current studies, then you need to enter the UK before the end date of your programme of studies.
Students on programmes of more than 12 months (Excluding 1 year Masters)
Important to know:
- In addition to the above, students who are eligible when the route launches will need to have existing permission as a student at the time of application and be in the UK as well as meeting other eligibility criteria for the route.
If you have any questions about the proposed route contact the Advice and Guidance team.