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A New Immigration Pathway for Post-Grad Students in the United Kingdom


Gary McIndoe


September 18, 2021


05:04 AM

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The UK's graduate route, introduced in July 2021, offers overseas students a great opportunity to live and work without sponsorship for up to 2 years post-graduation. Here we examine some of its key points.

1. Sponsorship is not required for the UK Graduate Route

The Graduate route is a non-sponsored category, meaning it is quicker and easier for both individuals and employers compared with the sponsored Skilled Worker option. While the employee may eventually require sponsorship to remain in the UK, this is not essential at recruitment stage.

2. The UK Graduate Route does not lead to settlement.

While it is easier to secure permission under the Graduate route than under Skilled Worker, time spent in the UK as a Graduate will not count towards settlement.

3. Existing dependants can be included in the Graduate Route Application

Where family members are already in the UK as dependants of a Student, they can remain joined with their sponsor as the Student transitions to the Graduate route.

However, it is important to note that a child born to a Graduate and their dependant partner will be able to secure status in the UK, but other family members cannot be admitted.

5. The Home Office has been flexible for Students who have been affected by Covid-19

Students whose studies began in autumn 2020 now have until 27 September 2021 to enter the UK (updated from the previous date of 21 June 2021) to be eligible to apply to the Graduate route. Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will need arrive by this date also.

6. Important Eligibility Requirements for the UK Graduate Route

The route is only open to Students who have been successful studying for a degree at bachelor’s or post-graduate level, or those who have completed one of the listed professional courses. The route is also not available to all previous students in the UK, only those who still have (or have last had) Student status. This means a Student who has already transitioned to Skilled Work or another category cannot apply to the Graduate route.

Learn More about the Graduate Route and How We Can Help

The immigration lawyers at Latitude Law have been providing invaluable specialist advice and legal representation to clients since 2007.

To discuss your application to the Graduate route or other matters related to living and working in the United Kingdom, reach out and request a consultation.

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