Graduate route

International students are allowed to stay in the UK for two years after graduation to find a job. The new Graduate route allows international students to work, or look for work, at any skill level, for a period of two years after completing your course.

What is the Graduate visa?

The Graduate route allows eligible international students to work in the UK after you have successfully completed your studies. For bachelors and masters students this visa will be valid for two years and for three years for PhD students. The visa opens for applications on the 1 July 2021.

Who is eligible?

Student visa holders must be in the UK with their visa still valid and have successfully completed a bachelors degree or higher. This means that your results have been confirmed at an academic board, not the date that you may attend an awards ceremony.

If you do not possess a Student visa you cannot apply for the Graduate route. This includes if your Student visa expires before the Graduate route opens on the 1 July 2021.

How long must I be in the UK for in order to apply?

You must have studied at least 12 months of your course in the UK, or the entire course if it is less than 12 months long. If this does not apply to you because you have been studying remotely in your home country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then you must return to the UK by the following dates in order to be eligible for the Graduate route:

How much will the application cost?

You will need to pay £700 for the cost of your visa application. In addition to this you will need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 for each year of your visa. That is £1,248 for bachelors and masters students (two years) and £1,872 for PhD students (three years).

Can I include my dependants (family members) in my application?

If you currently have dependants with you on your Student visa then you can include them in your Graduate route application. Your dependants must also be in the UK on a Student Dependant visa and pay the above fees.

What do I need to apply?

UKVI will provide further details on the application process, but we can expect you will need to provide your current passport and Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). In addition you will also need to provide your most recent Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number. This is the number you were given by the Admissions team or Visa Advisor in order to apply for your visa. You will be able to locate this in your emails or saved visa application form. The number is 14 characters long, contains numbers and letters and begins with “E4G”.

The University of Derby is required to report to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) eligible students who intend on applying for the Graduate visa. If you have read through the information provided and believe that you will be eligible for the Graduate visa, please complete this form to confirm your interest. If you do not do this you will not be able to apply.

Once your visa has been granted

Once issued you can do any work, including employed or self-employed, except as a professional sportsperson or coach.

Please email if you have any further questions.

Find out more about the new immigration system