The UK offers several Graduate Visa visas for overseas workers. These visa routes aim to bring employees on a short-term or long-term basis to their UK branches. The aim of these visa routes is to simplify the process of hiring talent from outside the UK.
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Graduate Visa is a new option for international students seeking to study in the UK. The UK government enabled this route on July 1, 2021.
The key requirement to apply for this particular category of visa is that you must have previously been in the UK and finished your studies in an approved course. Students could previously seek an extension to their stay in the UK through the Doctorate Extension Scheme. However, the new Graduate Route has effectively replaced it.
Once you receive a Graduate Visa, you are eligible to stay, study, and work in the UK for a period of 2 or 3 years. You can’t seek an extension to this visa, although it becomes easier to apply for other types of visas after you have a Graduate Visa.
Our experienced Graduate Visa solicitors at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law office can help you apply for the visa, or seek a review in case your visa application has been rejected.
You must meet several requirements before you can be eligible for a UK Graduate Visa. Here is a look at these:
These are the basic visa requirements that must be met to be eligible for this type of study visa. The following courses are eligible:
You must be in an eligible course at a licensed sponsor institution and hold a valid Student Visa before you can apply for the Graduate Route. If you are not sure whether you are eligible, a Graduate Visa attorney in London can guide you.
The basic application fee for a Graduate Visa is £715. In addition, you are also required to pay a certain amount per year as a healthcare surcharge. This additional amount covers your healthcare needs while you are in the UK. You can access the NHS once you pay the surcharge which is mandatory for Graduate Visa applicants.
The per-year healthcare surcharge is £624. If you have been awarded a two-year visa, the total amount becomes £1,245. For applicants who receive a three-year visa, the surcharge totals £1,872.
Once your application for the Graduate Route has been submitted, you can expect a decision within 8 weeks. The actual processing time may vary due to certain factors. For instance, if your application is incomplete or you have not attached the requisite documentation, it may take the Home Office longer to process it.
It is best to consult a reliable immigration attorney before you submit your visa application. Our Study Visa solicitors can review your application to ensure that its complete, accurate, and optimized for a quick outcome.
As noted above, an application for the Graduate Route is submitted online. However, you must have all the relevant documents on hand while filling out the application. You will need to provide the following documents:
If you are unclear about how to get these documents or submit them, a Graduate Visa attorney in London can offer help.
Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the application process for a Graduate Visa.
It is generally advised that you consult a reliable immigration attorney when submitting your Graduate Visa application. Here at Adam Bernard’s law office, our Graduate Visa solicitors can help you ensure that your application is complete and free from any errors.
Once you have a Graduate Visa, you are free to live, work, and study in the UK. You can also travel in and out of the UK without most of the immigration restrictions. The Graduate Visa also entitles you to apply for your eligible family members to join you in the UK.
However, you do face some limitations. You are not allowed to work as a professional sportsperson. You can also not seek state pension or other benefits offered by the state.
The Graduate Visa lasts 2 years for most applicants. If you are applying for PhD or doctoral studies that you aim to pursue, you will receive a 3-year visa. You can’t seek an extension to your Graduate Visa.
You do have the option to switch to another type of visa as your Graduate Visa nears expiry. Other visa options include Health and Care Visa, Partner Visa, Skilled Worker Visa, and Start-up Visa.
The Skilled Worker Visa is a common route after the Graduate Visa. You must already have received a job offer from a registered sponsor company in the UK before you can apply for the Skilled Worker Visa.
If your application is successful, you are allowed to live and work in the UK for 5 years. You can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and ultimately seek full UK citizenship. Our immigration attorneys can help you determine your best options as you move on from a Graduate Visa.
A Graduate Visa application may be refused for one of the following reasons:
The Home Office will likely note the reason your visa application was refused. Depending on the nature of this reason, you can seek an administrative review. You can typically seek an administrative review within 14 days of receiving the letter. It is critically important to seek the help of an experienced immigration attorney as you do so.