UK Graduate Visa
After your Student Visa
or Tier 4 (General) degree course
The UK Graduate Visa gives those that have completed a UK degree course, a further 2 years in the country (or 3 years if you have obtained a PhD). The great thing about this visa is that it allows you to take up a job without employer sponsorship. Companies often don't want to sponsor new hires. This visa lets graduates prove themselves to an employer. And, if the employer does not yet have a Skilled Worker visa sponsor licence, the time can also be used by the employer to get a licence (Contact us for help obtaining a licence).
To apply for a Graduate Visa, we need to show that you:
Are in the UK on a Student Visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa which has not expired.
Studied for a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or other eligible course while on your visa.
Have successfully completed your course (either by having a degree awarded, or the university/college confirming your successful completion).
The Graduate visa lasts for 2 years (3 if you have a doctorate), and can not be extended. To remain in the UK when it ends, you will need to switch to another visa, such as an employer-sponsored Skilled Worker visa.
For most people, a Graduate Visa is optimal. But if you are a doctor or nurse, or you work in health or adult social care, and have a supportive employer, consider applying for a Health and Care worker visa which, unlike the Graduate Visa, is exempt from the annual immigration health surcharge.
Those that are set on a UK career may prefer to move to a Skilled Worker visa as soon as possible, in order to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain faster.
If you are on a Graduate Visa, you should not apply for public funds (most benefits, but not NHS healthcare), and are not allowed to work as a professional sportsperson or coach. General Graduate visas should not be used for further study: get a new student visa instead, unless the course concerned is not eligible for a Student Visa.