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The New UK Graduate Route Visa: What it means for Prospective African Applicants

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

What is the Graduate Route Visa about?

This is a new Graduate route launched by the UK government, where eligible graduates can remain in the United Kingdom after their studies to seek jobs in their fields at ANY SKILL LEVEL. It is an exciting and unique opportunity to build a successful career in the United Kingdom after your studies.

Is it now open?

According to the UK Government, the Graduate Route will be open for applications from 1 July 2021.

I am an African student. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, you are.

This route is open to all international students who meet the eligibility requirements.

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • You will be required to show proof that you have completed the degree you enrolled for (the program for which you were given a Student/Tier 4 Visa). This can be an undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree) or a postgraduate degree (Master’s or Doctorate) at a recognized and approved Higher Education Provider within the United Kingdom.

  • Your student visa must be valid (not expired) by the time you are applying for the Graduate route visa.

Do I need a sponsor to apply?

No. You do not need a sponsor to apply. Your university of study will only confirm to the UK Home Office (the office in charge of Immigration) that you have completed your program successfully.

What are the benefits of the Graduate Route Visa?

If you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree, you will be granted 2 years of stay to work or look for a job.

If you are a Ph.D. graduate, you will be granted 3 years.

Can I apply for the Graduate Route Visa if I am outside the UK?

No. You can only apply from within the UK.

For the application, you will need to pay a new visa fee (£700), the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee (£624/year), and present the Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) which was issued to you for your just-concluded program.

I could not travel to the UK physically to begin my studies because of COVID-19 restrictions. Does this disqualify me?

If you started your program by September 2020, you have until 21 June 2021 to travel into the UK, to be eligible to apply for the Graduate visa.

If you started your program by January or February 2021, you have until 27 September 2021 to travel to the UK, to be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route Visa.

Can my spouse/dependant apply for an extension of their visa as well?

Yes. Any former dependants on your Student/Tier 4 visa can apply to extend their visa while you apply for the Graduate Route Visa. However, you cannot add a new dependant to your Graduate Route Visa.

What happens when I get a job?

When you get a suitable job, you can switch your visa to the other appropriate visa route, such as the Skilled Worker route.

If I don’t get a job, will I be able to extend this visa after my 2-3 year stay?

No. This visa is non-extendable.

However, you can apply for a job through another approved visa route, such as the Skilled Worker, Startup or Global Talent Routes.

Does the Graduate Route Visa count towards Permanent Residency/Settlement?

No. It does not.

You can only apply for Settlement through a Government-approved work route, such as the Skilled Worker Route.

I am interested in applying to a University in the UK. How can you help me?

If you plan to study in the UK soon, our expert education consultants are available to revamp your application documents. With this, you can land a spot in your dream school abroad.

If you are interested in undergraduate studies in the UK, click here to get started. Also, if you'd like to apply to graduate school in the UK, click here now. Let's help you get into your dream school!


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