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Graduate route to open to international students on 1 July 2021

The new route is designed for international students who want to work following the successful completion of a course of study at UK bachelor’s degree-level or above.

The new Graduate route will open for applications on 1 July 2021, allowing the UK to retain the brightest and the best international students to continue to contribute to society and the economy post-study.

Applicants must have:

  •  Completed an eligible course at a UK higher education provider, with a track record of compliance with the government’s immigration requirements to apply to the Graduate route. Students on the Graduate route will be able to work or look for work after their studies for a maximum period of 2 years, or 3 years for Doctoral students.

Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said:

As we rebuild from the global pandemic we want the world’s brightest talent, who aspire to a career at the highest levels of business, science, the arts and technology to see our United Kingdom as the natural place to fulfil their aspirations.

The changes announced today will ensure once they have received a gold standard qualification from one of our world leading education institutions they can easily secure the status they need to continue living, working and fulfilling their dreams in the UK.

What are the key benefits?

The Graduate route will be unsponsored, meaning applicants will not need a job offer to apply for the route. There will be no minimum salary requirements nor caps on numbers. Graduates on the route will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required.  

COVID Concessions:

Coronavirus concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic have also been extended, recognising the continuing disruption many face due to international travel restrictions.

Who will qualify under this route:

Applicants who began their studies in Autumn 2020 will now have until 21 June 2021 to enter the UK (updated from 6 April 2021) in order to be eligible for the Graduate route. Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will need to be in the UK by 27 September 2021. 

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