If you have been a student, and have completed a course of study, you may wish to undertake paid employment. The immigration requirements to apply for Skilled Worker route (see below) is often out of reach for most graduates. You could apply through the Graduate route within the immigration system when this route is re-introduced from July 2021.
The Graduate route permits any type of work, at any skill level, except for professional sportspersons. You do not need a job offer to apply for this status which means it will be easier to enter the labour market. It will also be much easier for employers to offer jobs to graduates if they are unable to sponsor Skilled Workers because employers do not need to hold a Home Office sponsor licence to employ graduates within this route.
To be eligible for this route, you must have completed your studies at an institution with a track record of immigration compliance and have been awarded a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or certain professional qualifications like the LPC for lawyers or PGCE for teachers. You must also have been in the UK for a minimum length of time, depending on the duration of the course and subject to exceptions for distance learning between January 2020 and September 2021.
How long can I stay in the UK?
PhDs and other doctoral graduates will be granted three years’ of permission to stay on the Graduate route; all other graduates will be granted two years.
Can my family members join me in the UK?
Only partners and children already in the UK as Student dependents qualify.