Graduate Route

The Graduate Route was launched on 01 July 2021.

UKVI are now accepting applications under this route. This is an unsponsored route, you will not need sponsorship from the University or an employer.

Confirmation of your results

You can apply once the University has informed UKVI that, you have successfully completed the course you studied with your most recent Student or Tier 4 visa. You must also meet the eligibility requirements outlined below. As soon as we have notified UKVI, we will email you and confirm this. We will also provide you with the CAS number which you will need, to make the application.

We will tell UKVI, once you have been formally notified of your final award which has been confirmed by scheme board.

You must not make a Graduate Route application until you have received an email from us confirming that we have notified UKVI of your successful completion.

We will prioritise notifications according to visa expiry dates. It is important that your email address on E-vision is correct and you regularly check your emails. We will contact you if we require any additional information.

Please contact us if the following applies:

  • Your have not heard from us and your visa is expiring in 3 working days. The email should have the subject title: GR VISA EXPIRING (date of visa expiry). For example, GR VISA EXPIRING 01/07/2021.

You should email

Please note your visa end date is determined by the course end date on your CAS. If for any reason you are not able to successfully complete your course before your CAS course end date, for example due to resits or retakes, you may not receive your final award before your visa expires. This may then mean you will not eligible to apply for the Graduate Route. It is important to note that the University does not guarantee or commit to extending visa sponsorship in order for students to be eligible for the Graduate Route.

Eligibility Requirements

You must obtain 70 points in total. The areas that points will be awarded for are:

  • Successful completion requirement
  • Qualification requirement
  • Study in the UK requirement

There are also certain requirements to be met in order for the application to be valid (accepted). The following sections provide further information.

Information about dependants are also provided below.

  • Successful completion requirement
    • You must have successfully completed the course you studied on your most recent student visa.
    • If you were permitted to change course without needing to apply for a new permission as a student (course transfers) or where the course title changed but the course content remained unchanged, the new course must be successfully completed.
    • The course must be completed with a higher education provider with a track record of compliance.
    • The University will need to confirm the course has been successfully completed by the date of application.
  • Qualification requirement
    • This requirement will be met as long as you have successfully completed a course for which you have been or will be awarded, such as a UK bachelor’s degree, UK postgraduate degree, PGCE or PGDE.
    • If the course title changed but the course content remained unchanged you could still meet this requirement.
    • The qualification must have been obtained in the last grant of Student permission.
    • If you hold a Student permission (visa) to cover a Student Union Sabbatical Officer position, the course must have been successfully completed within the last grant of student permission to study as a student.
    • Please contact us if you have had 2 periods of student sabbatical leave.
  • Study in the UK requirement
    • You must have studied in the UK for a certain minimum period of the course.
Less than 12 months Full duration of course
More than 12 months Minimum 12 months


Students on courses of 12 months or less

  • If you started the course in 2020 or spring 2021 through distance learning and you are entering UK for the first time, you must arrive either before your student permission expires or by 27/09/2021, whichever is sooner.
  • If you start the course in autumn 2021 or spring 2022, you must enter UK latest by 6th April 2022. However, it is recommended you travel to the UK as soon as you are able to do so and not wait until April 2022.
  • If you are a student with existing student permission who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021, already travelled to the UK during that period of student permission and then returned home for period of distance learning, you will be able to make a graduate route application as long as you are present in the UK before the end date of that student permission.

Students on courses of Longer than 12 months

If your course is longer than 12 months, the following periods of distance learning will not prevent you from applying for the graduate route visa:

  • 24/01/2020 - 27/09/2021 any distance Learning in the UK or overseas.
  • 27/09/2021 – 06/04/2022 any distance learning overseas only.

Application process and validity requirement

In order for the application to be accepted, all of the following points must be met….

  • The application must be made online
  • Please visit the UK Government website for information about the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge 
  • Biometric details are required.
  • You must provide a passport or other travel document to confirm identity and nationality.
  • You must be in the UK (applications from overseas are not allowed).
  • You will need your most recent CAS number.
  • You should have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application.
  • If you have a visa application pending with UKVI and your last visa was student permission, you should contact visa advice team.
  • If you have exceptional assurance you may be eligible.
  • For PhD graduates, this replaces the Doctorate Extension Scheme
  • Anyone who currently has or previously had a Doctorate Extension Scheme visa will not be eligible for this route.
  • Only one Graduate route application is permitted and it cannot be extended.
  • Students sponsored by a Government or international scholarship agency in the 12 months leading up to the Graduate Route application will need to submit written consent from their sponsor.

If you do not meet all of the requirements above, the application is likely to be rejected. If you are refused, you may have the option of applying for an administrative review.

General information

  • The visa will be granted for 2 years, with the only exception for PhD graduates who will get 3 years.
  • UKVI have confirmed that Postgraduate Diploma and/or Postgraduate Certificates do not qualify for the Graduate Route visa.
  • Conditions attached to the permission granted are
    • No recourse to public funds
    • Work permitted includes self-employment and voluntary work. The only exception is work as a professional sportsperson, which will not be allowed.
    • Some types of study will be allowed. You cannot study with an institution that is a Student sponsor or courses that are permitted under the Student route.
    • ATAS condition to be met (where applicable)
    • Registration with the police (if applicable)
  • You will need to pass security, identity and criminality checks.
  • There is no option to switch to the Graduate route from any other visa category apart from the Student route.
  • Time on this route will not count towards settlement, like the 5 years on skilled worker route, but time can accumulate towards the 10 year long residence route.
  • You may be able to switch into other work related visas from this route.
  • You can work at any skill level, but there may be some restrictions on the type of employment allowed.
  • There will be no maintenance requirement and you won’t be required to submit any documents to demonstrate your English language ability.


Like the main applicant, dependants will need to pay the application fee, the IHS surcharge, provide biometrics, provide a passport or travel document to confirm their identity and nationality.

If they are sponsored by a Government or international scholarship agency they will need to provide written consent from the sponsor.

They must be in the UK on the date of application. They cannot apply from overseas. This means if dependants are not in the UK already on a dependant Student visa they will not be able to qualify.

Their last visa must have been as a dependant of someone with Student permission.

The relationship between the partner and main applicant must be subsisting and must have intention to live together during the grant of permission.

For dependant children, each parent must be applying in the UK as the same time as the child or already have permission to be in the UK (except as a Visitor). There are some exceptions to this.

For dependant children born in the UK to a parent on a Student or Graduate permission or their partner, a full UK birth certificate will need to be provided, which shows the names of both parents.

Dependents will have permission granted to match that of the main Graduate applicant.

Conditions attached will include no recourse to public funds, work is permitted including self-employment and voluntary work. However, they cannot work as a sportsperson or a sports coach. Study is permitted and the ATAS requirement must be met (where applicable). They may need to register with the police (if applicable, ie. if your visa conditions mention it).

Useful resources

Contact us

+44 (0)1582 489319
+44 (0)1582 489326

International contacts

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