Graduate Immigration Visa Route


Launch of new visa

The UK Government has provided further details on the new Graduate Immigration Route that will allow international students studying at Manchester to stay in the UK for an additional period to work, or look for work, at any skill level.

New Graduate Route

From 1st July 2021, international students who have successfully completed an undergraduate or master’s degree will be able to remain in the UK for work for two years after graduation, through the new Graduate Route. Students who complete their PhD will be able to stay for up to three years.

  • The Graduate Route will be available to international students who have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application and have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above.
  • Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for a maximum period of two years if they have successfully completed an undergraduate or master’s degree. PhD graduates will be able to stay for three years.
  • The new route will be launched from 1st July 2021, meaning that any eligible student who has completed their degree and who has a valid Tier 4/Student visa at the time of application for the new Graduate Route will be eligible but you must apply for the visa from the UK.
  • The UK Government has also confirmed that if you began your studies through distance learning in the 2020/2021 academic year you will still be eligible to apply for the new Graduate Route.
  • The Graduate Route will require a new visa application and will include the payment of a visa fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge. The exact fee will be set out by the Home Office in due course. 
  • The University of Manchester is committed to ensuring that all our students are provided with expert advice and guidance to support our students in securing a graduate level job, either in the UK or overseas. For more information about the support we offer, please visit the University Careers Service website
  • The UKVI has stated that it will require final year students including those who started a 1-year Masters degree in Autumn 2020 to arrive in the UK before 21st June 2021 and complete their studies in the UK as part of its eligibility requirements.

To find out more about the new Graduate Route, the Home Office has created a fact sheet and responded to some frequently asked questions. UKCISA have also published a summary and will continue to update their information as and when it becomes available.

There is also information about the GRaduate Route from paragraph 3.20 in the UKVI Covid Guidance document.

If you would like to see the full detail of the guidance from the Home Office you can find it here.