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Graduate Visa Route Open From 1st July 2021

March 24, 2021 | Silver Shemmings

The Home Office has recently published a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules which included the introduction of a new Graduate visa route. It is a long-awaited change following the scrapping of the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) scheme almost a decade ago. The route is for applications made within the UK and is due to open from 9am on 1 July 2021.

The new route will enable International graduates to work or look for employment in the UK for an additional two-year period (three years for PHD graduates) following their UK studies. The work can be at any skill level and salary and there will be no need for official sponsorship or even a job offer from an employer. There will also not be any caps on the number of applications that will be approved. The expectation is that during this period the student can gain experience and possibly find sponsored employment by the time of the expiry of their leave under the Graduate route.

To be eligible to apply under this route, International students will be required to have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above during their most recent grant of permission as a Student (or Tier 4). There is also a requirement that the course provider has a track record of compliance with the government’s immigration requirements.

Coronavirus concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic have also been extended. As such, applicants who began their course of studies in Autumn 2020 will now have until 21 June 2021 to enter the UK in order to be eligible for the Graduate route. Students who began their course in January or February 2021 will need to be in the UK by 27 September 2021.

Dependent family members of a Student who is applying on the Graduate route can also apply to extend their permission as a Dependant, however new dependant family members will not be permitted on this route.

It is anticipated that the visa application fee for the route will be £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge would be at the full rate of £624 per year.

The new route cannot be extended and also does not lead to settlement “indefinite leave to remain” in the UK however it will allow for switching to the Skilled Worker route which leads to settlement after 5 years.

The introduction of this route is great news for International students providing them with the opportunity to develop their career in the UK after obtaining their degree so we encourage those considering to apply under the new Graduate route to contact us for further advice tailored to your circumstances. We can also be contacted regarding alternative options and any other UK immigration queries.

Author Onaiza Khokhar has over 10 years’ of experience in a range of UK inbound immigration matters for both private and corporate clients across a number of industries.

Since qualifying as a Solicitor in 2012, Onaiza has worked as an Immigration Consultant and has been committed to providing exceptional client care and immigration advice. She is able to assist with applications made from overseas for entry clearance visas for the UK. She also advises on required visa and immigration applications within the UK up until the point of obtaining British nationality.

At Silver Shemmings Ash, we provide seminars and training alongside our core activities in contentious and non-contentious matters. The purpose of these is to facilitate a greater knowledge and understanding of construction and property law. There remains a considerable lack of training in such areas for companies and this is an issue which we are looking to address


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