Graduate Route to Open to International Students in the UK on 1 July 2021

Following the successful completion of a course of study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above, the route is for international students who wish to work.  

The graduate route will be open for international students on 1 July 2021.

On 1 July 2021, the new Graduate route will open for applications.  This will facilitate UK to preserve the most brilliant and the best international students to go on to contribute to society and the economy post-study.

In order to be able to apply to the Graduate route, International students must have completed an eligible course at a UK higher education provider and should have a track record of compliance with the government’s immigration requirements. Students who are on the Graduate route are free to take up employment or look for one after completion of their studies for a maximum period of 2 years, or 3 years for Doctoral students.

The launching of the new Graduate route demonstrates that the government is showing ongoing commitment to deliver on its key manifesto promise to implement a points-based immigration system.  This will bring together talent and guarantee that businesses can hire the most highly talented and qualified from all over the world to drive the economy ahead.

The Graduate route will operate throughout all corners of the UK.  This guarantees that communities from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can gain benefits from talented people who want to stay post-study.

The following is a stated from Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster:

As we begin to rebuild after the global pandemic, we wish for the world’s smartest talent, especially those who aspire to a career at the top levels of science, business, the arts and technology to see United Kingdom as the natural place to fulfill their aspirations.

The changes declared today, the 4th of March will guarantee once they receive a gold standard qualification from any of our world-leading education institutions, they can effortlessly obtain the status they require to continue to live, work and fulfill all their dreams in the UK.

The new route will open for applications from 1 July 2021, for international students who have successfully finished a degree at undergraduate level or above in the UK, as specified in the Immigration Rules laid in Parliament on 4th March.

Applicants will not need a job offer to apply for the route as the Graduate route will be unsponsored. There are no minimum salary conditions nor caps on numbers. Graduates who are on the route will be able to develop their careers as required, work flexibly and switch jobs.  

This new route is expected to aid the government in achieving the goal that is set in the International Education Strategy to boost the number of international students in higher education in the UK to 600,000 by 2030.

Recognizing the continuing disruption many face due to international travel restrictions, coronavirus concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic have also been extended.

Applicants who started their studies in Autumn of 2020 will now have the time until 21 June 2021 to move into UK (updated from 6 April 2021) so that they may qualify for the Graduate route. Students who began studying in January or February 2021 ought to be in the UK by 27th September 2021. 

The Graduate route emerged as the government also disclosed plans to introduce another new immigration route that will aid start-ups and fast-growing firms to hire the talent, they need to modernize and grow as per the new budget.  These are a part of an array of measures for highly skilled migrants.  Highly skilled migrants who possess a job offer from recognized high-growth firms will be eligible for a visa without requiring sponsorship or third-party endorsement as part of the route. 

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