The Graduate Route is due to launch on 1 July 2021. It will allow students who have completed a Bachelor's or Master's degree to stay for up to two years to work at any skill level, or to look for work. Those who have completed a PhD will be granted permission for 3 years.
You must have Tier 4 or Student immigration permission at the time of application in order to be eligible. You can only apply from inside the UK.
You will need to undergo identity, security and criminality checks.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has more detailed information, including money and fees, travelling in and outside the UK and starting work.
In Advice and Counselling, we can provide guidance based on the information on this page. We are planning to run online workshops about the process and requirements, once more detail has been released by the UK government. Details of the workshops will be published on this page once confirmed. If you require detailed one-to-one advice about your application, find out how to look for a regulated adviser under 'Other regulated immigration advisers' on our web page Further advice
The route will open from 1 July 2021.
International students who successfully complete an undergraduate degree or postgraduate degree at Queen Mary with Tier 4 or Student immigration permission at the time of application will be eligible. You will be able to apply after the exam board has taken place within your Academic School, and your results have been confirmed, showing that you have passed your course. It is expected that Queen Mary will report your successful completion to UKVI, and let you know when this has been done. You can apply after this.
If your Student or Tier 4 permission expires before 1 July 2021, you will not be eligible to apply (unless you can extend your Student permission first).
You can only apply from inside the UK. You must apply before your current visa expires.
Normally if your total course is 12 months or shorter, you should spend the full duration of your course in the UK with Student immigration permission, if your course is longer than 12 months you should spend at least 12 months in the UK with Student immigration permission (but note the concession in 2021 'Deadline to enter the UK in 2021')
You will only be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route visa once, even if you undertake more than one eligible course in the UK. Therefore if you are planning to do a undergraduate and postgraduate course in the UK, think about when would be the best time to apply depending on your career plans.
You will need to apply by completing an online form. The process is not automatic. You will need to write your CAS number on the application form.
You will be able to apply after the exam board for your programme has taken place, and your results have been officially confirmed. You must have successfully completed your course in order to be eligible. The programme exam boards normally take place at Queen Mary 1-2 months after the end date of your course. You cannot apply before your results are official from your School.
You must apply before your current Student or Tier 4 immigration permission expires, or on the day it expires at the very latest.
The application fee is expected to be £700, and the Immigration Health Surcharge is expected to be £624 per year of permission granted.
If you were sponsored by a government or international organisation for your studies, or were sponsored during the 12 months before you make your application for the Graduate Route, then you will need to provide a letter of consent from your sponsor. The letter of consent should say that your sponsor agrees to you remaining in the UK. This is required if the scholarship covered both tuition fees and living expenses.
As Queen Mary is not a government or international scholarship agency, you will not require a letter of consent if you have been sponsored by Queen Mary.
You will be able to work in line with the Graduate Route conditions once your Graduate Route visa has been issued. Until then, you should work in line with your Student conditions.
Once your Graduate Route visa has been issued, you can undertake most work, including employment and self-employment and you can also be looking for work. You are not permitted to work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
Existing dependants can extend, but you cannot bring new dependants under the Graduate Route.
UKVI have confirmed that students will normally be expected to undertake their studies in the UK to be eligible for the Graduate route. However there is a concession at this time, to allow students to remain eligible for the Route even if they have spent some time studying outside the UK as a result of the pandemic.
Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020:
Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 via distance learning, and who have not previously entered the UK to study that course, will be able to make a Graduate application if they arrive in the UK on or before 21 June 2021 to complete their course. This is a change from the previous concession, and allows students who started their course in September 2020 and have not yet travelled to the UK more time to arrive in the UK.
We have contacted our Licence Manager at UKVI who has confirmed the policy intention is that you stay in the UK to complete your course. You may not be eligible if you enter the UK on or before 21 June 2021, but do not stay in the UK to complete your course.
Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2021:
Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2021 via distance learning and who have not previously entered the UK to study that course will be able to make a Graduate application if they make a successful Student visa application and arrive in the UK on or before 27 September 2021 to complete their course.
Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 who have existing permission as a Student to study that course, and who have already travelled to the UK during that period of permission, will be able to make a Graduate application as long as they are present in the UK before the end date of their course.
Students who started a course at any time that is longer than 12 months:
Students sponsored for a course lasting longer than 12 months will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021. Remember that you must be in the UK with Student or Tier 4 immigration permission at the time of application. Currently, UKVI have not published a specific deadline by which you would need to return to the UK. It appears you can return and apply any time while you still have Student permission, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria, but UKCISA are checking this with the Home Office and we will update these webpages as we receive news.
In all cases, you must meet all other eligibility criteria of the route in order to be able to apply.
The Careers and Enterprise Service at Queen Mary can provide a range of support in helping you to find work or apply for a job or further study, including feedback on your job application, practice interviews, advice on making career choices and support with looking for work. See the Careers and Enterprise website for further details and follow their blog for useful information and case studies.
You can watch recorded webinars on the Careers and Enterprise Service web pages.
You can access Queen Mary's Careers and Enterprise Service for 2 years after you graduate.