The Graduate Route launched on 1 July 2021. It allows 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.
Please read our detailed guidance in the sections below to help you understand the eligibility criteria and how and when to apply.
If after reading our guidance you need individual advice you can:
- contact the UKCISA Student advice line. The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) also has detailed information on their website, including money and fees, travelling in and outside the UK and starting work, or
- find out how to look for a regulated immigration adviser under 'Other regulated immigration advisers' on our web page Further advice
The Immigration Compliance Team at Queen Mary will deal with the adminstrative side of reporting successful completion to UKVI. If you have any questions about how this will work, you can contact them on: firstname.lastname@example.org
The route opened at 9am on 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 you are an undergraduate who has late summer exams in 2021 (first sits or re-sits) your exam results should be released on 22 September, unless you are a Medical or Dental student in which case your results will be released earlier. As long as your results are confirmed while you still hold valid Tier 4 or Student immigration permission, you will be in time to apply for the Graduate Route (subject to meeting all of the other qualifying criteria).
If your Student or Tier 4 permission expired 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 £700, and the Immigration Health Surcharge is £624 per year of permission granted. Your eligible dependants will also have to pay an application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge.
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 or 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 either before their visa ends or by 27 September 2021, whichever is sooner.
If you already came to the UK under your current Student route permission but then you switched to distance learning from home, you just need to return to the UK on or before the end date of your Student permission in order to be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route.
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.
Students on part-time courses with Student permission at the time of application will be eligible for the Graduate Route, provided they meet all of the other eligibility criteria.
Please note, the UKCISA information confirms that you cannot start work until your Graduate Route permission is granted.