Submitting a Graduate Route application

You must submit the application online and any dependants on your Student /Tier 4 (General) visa must apply separately. Your partner needs to have been a dependant on your Student/Tier 4 visa to apply. Children usually need to have been a dependant unless they were born during your current Student/Tier 4 visa and they were born in the UK. If you get married whilst on the Graduate route your spouse will not be able to apply to join you in the UK.

Where and when to apply

You must make your Graduate Route visa application in the UK with a valid Student/Tier 4 visa. .

You should only apply for the Graduate route visa once Student Immigration Advice and Compliance (SIAC) notify the UKVI of your successful completion. We will write to you and tell you when we have done this.

What if I complete my studies earlier than expected?

If you complete your studies earlier than expected we will notify the UKVI of your new completion date when you complete your studies. The UKVI will then curtail your leave to your new completion date plus the standard wrap-up period. This means if you were on a  degree level course of more than 12 months your new visa expiry will be the new end date of your studies + 4 months. When they curtail your visa they will write to you and tell you of your new visa expiry date and give you a deadline by which you should leave the UK. You are permitted to remain in the UK and work until your new expiry date.

Until you complete your studies, we have notified the UKVI of your early completion and the UKVI have written to you with the new expiry date of your permission (visa) your visa expiry date remains the same.

If I complete my studies early can I leave the UK  and re-enter?

If you complete your studies early and you want to apply for the Graduate Route visa you are best advised to remain in the UK until your results are confirmed, we have made the notification and you have submitted your application.

If you must travel you are advised to return to the UK before your results are released as it is at this point that we will notify the UKVI. Your department can advise you when this will happen so you can plan your travels.

Beware, once we have made the report to the UKVI you will not be able to re-enter the UK. If you leave the UK after early completion of studies, or are already outside the UK, when we report your early completion your permission to enter or remain will lapse immediately under Article 13(3) of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000 and you should not try and enter the UK on that visa. If this causes you any issues please contact SIAC for advice.

 

Steps to making a successful Graduate Route visa application

1. Prepare your funds

You will need to pay:

£700 - application fee

£624 - Immigration Health Surcharge for each year of the visa

£1948 = £700 + £1248 if you have successfully completed a bachelor's or master's degree

£2572 = £700 + £1872 if you have successfully completed a PhD

You are not required to show you have held the funds for a specified period of time but you must pay all monies up front to obtain your visa. You should plan early and consider how you will support yourself if it takes you a while to find work.

 

2. Prepare your documents

  • valid passport
  • your Biometric residence Permit (BRP)
  • your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) reference number - some students may have had more than one CAS during their programme of study, The required CAS number is usually the latest one issued to you. We will advise you of this number when we write to tell you that we have made the notification of your successful completion to the UKVI.

If you have been sponsored within the last 12 months you will have to provide;

  • a letter from your sponsor noting that they give their consent to your application.

If you are applying with dependants who are already in the UK with you you might be asked to provide;

  • proof or your relationship which could be a marriage or birth certificate, or evidence you still live together such as a council tax bill or other household bill showing your address
  • if they were included in any official financial sponsorship they will also have to show a letter giving their consent to the application

 

3. Create an online account with the UKVI

You may already have a account from a previous application or you can create a new account using a different email address or phone number. You can create an account for yourself and if you are applying with dependant children you will have to create an account for them. To create an account you will need:

  • date of  birth (DOB)
  • passport
  • email address - you should use your personal email address in this instance in case for any reason you need to access your account once your institutional email address has expired
  • mobile phone number

You could start your form but you should not complete the application or pay until your successful completion/award has been confirmed by us, your sponsor, and we have informed the UKVI. We will do this when the exam boards confirm your successful completion.

 

4. Download the UK Immigration: ID Check' app

You will be required to prove your identity as part of the application. Most applicants with a form of biometric ID (biometric passport or BRP) will be able to do this  Using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) which can be downloaded on to most smart phones. If you are unable to use the app for some reason you will be asked to attend a UKVCAS application centre to provide your photograph and fingerprints. The app will:

    • check that your identity document is genuine
    • verify that the document belongs to you

 

5. Wait for Student Immigration Advice and Compliance (SIAC) to make the notification to the UKVI

You do not have to wait until your graduation or until you have received your certificate but you do need to wait for us to notify the UKVI of your successful completion.

As your sponsor during your studies undertaken on your Student/Tier 4 visa we are required to notify the UKVI of your successful completion. Shortly after exam boards have completed we run reports to identify students who are eligible for the Graduate route and make the notification to the UKVI. We will write to you when we have done this and we will also provide you with the relevant CAS number to make your application.

 

6. Apply

You should only apply for the Graduate visa and submit your application once Student Immigration Advice and Compliance (SIAC) have written to you to tell you that we, as sponsor of your studies, have notified the UKVI of your successful completion. You will have to submit separate applications following the same process for any dependants already with you in the UK.

Dependants must make their applications separately either as your partner or your child. They will need information from you to complete their application successfully.

Graduate visa: Your partner and children - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

After submitting the application

Once you have applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents you will usually receive a decision within 8 weeks or providing your biometrics. You should not leave the  Common Travel Area (CTA) of the UK, the Crown Dependencies (Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and Ireland whilst your application is being processed as it will make it invalid.

Can I work whilst my Graduate visa application is pending?

Whilst your application is pending you can continue to work under the conditions of your Student/Tier 4 visa until your Graduate visa is issued.

 

Receiving and viewing your decision

If you have applied using the digital route you will be granted an eVisa and be able to view and prove your rights in the UK digitally. You should make sure you keep your details up to date in your online account particularly those of the document you travel on or it could cause issues or delays in trying to provide you status.  If you are a national of any of these countries you will also be issued with a BRP card which you must use to exit and enter the UK.

What work can I do once my Graduate visa has been issued?

Once your visa has been issued you can:

    • work in most jobs
    • look for work
    • be self-employed
    • do voluntary work
    • You cannot:
    • apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
    • work as a professional sportsperson

 

Getting help with your application

The University will not offer checks on any Graduate route applications. We will notify you if you are eligible and respond to any queries around your eligibility. If you have difficulty applying we will try our best to assist you.

You can find advice on the UKCISA webpages including a fact sheet about the scheme. https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/information--advice/working/working-after-studies

UKCISA also operate a telephone advice line for students though this does get very busy. https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice

The UK government has created a really useful guide to the Graduate route which is definitely worth a read and covers most questions you may have.

The points-based immigration system: The Graduate immigration route (publishing.service.gov.uk)

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