Apply for a Graduate visa

Updated on 12 March 2024

A Graduate visa gives you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years after successfully completing a course in the UK.

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The Graduate Visa launched on 1 July 2021.

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


  • You must have a valid student visa when you make the application.
  • You must be in the UK when you apply.
  • You must have your most recent CAS number.
  • If you have a financial sponsor for your studies in the UK and they cover both your tuition fees and living expenses, you may be asked to provide written consent from your financial sponsor stating that they do not object to your Graduate Route application.
  • If you are currently studying remotely at home, you must have a valid student visa to return to your course and be present in the UK by 30th June 2022 to be eligible to apply. If you have returned home because you have completed your course and your student visa has expired, you will not be able to apply for the Graduate Route.
  • You must have successfully completed your Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD. 

Successful completion

  • The University is required to inform the Home Office once you have successfully completed your degree. 
  • The Immigration Compliance team report successful completion once your degree has been formally ratified by University Senate. Reporting will be completed within three weeks of each Senate date. Senate dates can be found on the University website.
  • Once successful completion has been reported the Immigration Compliance team will email you to confirm and provide further information on the Graduate Route.
  • Please only email the Immigration Compliance team regarding your successful completion if your visa will expire outside of the above timelines. 
  • We cannot guarantee successful completion will be reported prior to visa expiry for students who have resits and repeats but we will work with Schools where possible.

How and when to apply

  • Applications can be made on the UK Government website
  • You will not be required to show evidence of financial maintenance.

Fees and costs

  • The application itself will cost £822.
  • You must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge with your application. The IHS fee currently £1,035per year. 


  • Applicants who are already student dependant visa holders in the UK can apply.
  • If your dependants are outside the UK they are not eligible to apply as dependants of the Graduate visa.
  • Infants born in the UK to Student visa or Tier 4 visa holders are eligible to apply.
  • When a main applicant applies for Graduate, the portal will calculate the appropriate flat rate for them based on the route type. However, dependants need to enter the future expiry date. This should be the anticipated expiry date if their application is granted (eg 2 years in the future), and not the expiry of their current permission. If a dependant enters the date of their current permission expiry, they will be charged the incorrect amount which will delay processing of their application.

Approved travel outside the UK

  • Approved absences such as undergraduate travel during university holidays or approved absences for postgraduate students will not prevent eligibility for the Graduate route

Graduate visa conditions

  • Bachelor’s and Master’s applicants are eligible for a 2 year Graduate visa.
  • PhD applicants are eligible for a 3 year Graduate visa.
  • You can work or seek work at any level. You may also be self-employed.
  • This visa can’t be extended, but you can later switch to a sponsored working visa such as Skilled Worker, Global Talent or Innovator Routes.
  • Permission under the Graduate visa does not in itself lead to settlement, except as part of the Long Residence provision.

Post study work