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Graduate Immigration Route to Open July 2021

    What is Graduate Immigration route?

    Popularly known as PSW (Post Study Work Visa) the much-awaited Graduate Immigration route has been finally announced by the government and is set to open from 1 July 2021. The route will enable international students who have completed an eligible course of study to remain in the UK to work or look for work, for two years (three years for those being awarded doctorates) after completing their studies.  In this post, we look at what international graduates can expect once the Graduate Immigration Route opens.

    Who is eligible for the Graduate Immigration route?

    In order to qualify for permission to stay on the Graduate Immigration route you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

    • You have successfully completed a UK degree or other eligible course and have a valid student visa at the time of application
    • You have studied at a Higher Education Provider which is a student sponsor with a track record of compliance;
    • You have not previously held permission on the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) or the Graduate route;
    • You do not fall for refusal on grounds of suitability.

    Concessions to students who have or will be applying for student visas in light of Covid-19

    • If you started a one-year masters course in January 2021, you will need to arrive in the UK by 27 September 2021 in order to be eligible for the Graduate route
    • If you began your studies in the 2020-21 academic year, you will be able to benefit from the new route even if you began your degree online in your home country due to Covid-19
    • If you are due to complete your course in summer 2021 but have not been unable to travel to UK just yet, you will be eligible for the Graduate route as long as you arrive in the UK before 21 June 2021 (This has been updated from previous 6 April date)
    Is the certificate of sponsorship required for the Graduate Immigration route

    The Graduate Immigration route is an unsponsored route, meaning that applicants will not need a job offer or a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) in order to be eligible. There will be no minimum salary requirements or cap on the numbers. Graduates on this route will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and build their career as required.

    Are settlement or PR options available through the Graduate Immigration route?

    The Graduate Immigration route will not lead directly to settlement.  However, once on the Graduate Immigration route you will be able to extend your stay by switching to other work-based routes, such as the Skilled Worker route or the Global Talent route which can lead to settlement.  Applicants will of course need to satisfy the requirements of the respective route.

    How long can one stay in the UK through the Graduate Immigration route and are dependents allowed?

    Successful applicants on the Graduate Immigration route who have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree will be able to stay in the UK for two years. Doctoral students will be able to stay in the UK for three years.

    If you have family members in the UK who already have permission to stay in the UK as your dependent then they will be able to extend their stay when you apply to enter the Graduate Immigration route.   New dependents will not be permitted on this route, except where a dependent child is born in the UK during a period of Student or Graduate leave

    How can I get more information and help with applying for the Graduate Immigration route?

    For expert advice and assistance regarding an application to extend your stay on the Graduate Immigration route or to switch into another immigration category, contact us at enquiries@citylegalservices.co.uk or call for a free consultation on 020 8175 4000.

    Disclaimer: No material or information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should always seek appropriate professional advice to resolve their Legal Matters.
    About the Author

      Annamaria Zeka

    Anna joined the firm in 2019, works as an Immigration Associate being regulated by the OISC at Level 1 and assist clients on all aspects of personal & business immigration to the UK.

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