Graduate visa

The Graduate visa is a route for eligible international students to apply for upon successfully completing their course.

If you wish to apply for the Graduate Visa once you have completed your studies, it is very important that you fulfil all your responsibilities as a Student Route visa holder during your time on the course, including paying your tuition fees, attending class and passing your course. Please ensure you have read your responsibilities as an international student which details these.

Please read the Home Office information which provides guidance on this visa.

When can you apply for the Graduate visa

The UKVI advise that you can apply for a Graduate visa if all of the following are true:

  • you’re in the UK
  • your current visa is a Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
  • you studied a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or other eligible course for a minimum period of time with your Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa
  • you’ve successfully completed that course

The UKVI have confirmed to us that lower awards such as postgraduate diplomas/postgraduate certificates would not make students eligible for the Graduate Route. You must have been awarded in line with your CAS such as a MSc or an MA for example. 

Graduate visa key points

  • You must also not have been issued leave for the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) previously 
  • If you have never entered the UK before, have studied on your course through distance learning, and you began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 you must have entered the UK by 27 September 2021
  • If you have already entered the UK or are currently in the UK now, then you must make your visa application once eligible before your current Tier 4 (Student Visa) expires
  • You would be able to work at any skill level for 2 years, or 3 years for PhD students
  • No financial maintenance requirement and no English Language requirement for this visa route
  • You will need to enter the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number that you used to apply for your current Student visa
  • The visa application fee will be £822.00. From February 6th 2024, the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) will be £1,035.00 per year
  • Dependants can apply too, but they must already have existent leave as a Tier 4/Student Visa dependant and be in the UK, first time dependants are not eligible to apply
  • You cannot extend your Graduate visa. However, you may be able to switch to a different visa, for example a Skilled Worker visa

Graduate visa – important considerations

With a Graduate visa you can:

  • work in most jobs
  • look for work
  • be self-employed
  • continue living in the UK with your partner and children, if they’re eligible
  • do voluntary work
  • travel abroad and return to the UK

You cannot:

  • apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
  • work as a professional sportsperson

There is also information on the Graduate visa provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

Applying for the Graduate Route

Once ready and eligible, you will need to apply online on the UK government website.

Please note that your eligibility for the Graduate Route is determined and upheld by the Home Office, not DMU. You would need to make the decision yourself as to whether you wish to apply.

If you are unsure that you meet the requirements listed above or would like further advice on the Graduate route we recommend that you contact a regulated immigration adviser.

Go to Graduate Visa application