The new program was officially launched for foreign graduates of UK universities on 01 July 2021. It is called a Graduate visa. It allows graduates with a UK degree to find a job in this country and build a career.
Although this type of visa is not a settlement visa, it can be a step towards obtaining UK citizenship.
A Graduate visa is available to foreign students who have completed a course of study in a UK university. A Graduate visa is granted to bachelor’s and master’s degrees holders for two years, and for PhD or other doctoral degrees holders for three years. It is possible to apply for a Graduate visa only if you have had a Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa. One of the main conditions is to be in the UK because British embassies outside the UK do not accept these applications.
You should apply for a Graduate visa before your Student visa expires but after your graduation. However, it is not necessary to wait for the graduation ceremony. A confirmation from the dean’s office is enough to confirm that an applicant has successfully completed the course.
Difficulties can arise only for those students whose tuition fees have been paid by a government or a fund. In this case, you should prove that a sponsor has no claims and agrees to the graduate themselves looking for a job in the UK.
When a graduate is employed, they can switch to a Skilled worker visa. They can apply for it straight away after graduation, if an employer is ready to employ them. However, this is not always the case.
In fact, this is the main difference between a Graduate visa and a Skilled worker visa. A graduate visa allows you to live in the UK, do interviews and an internship in different companies, and then choose the best option. At the same time, a Skilled worker visa allows you to come to the UK only with an invitation from a company, and it is difficult to get another job.
A spouse/partner and dependent children can be included in the application. If it is not a registered marriage, it will be necessary to confirm a couple have been living together for more than two years. Children can be minors or adults. The main requirement is for them to be dependent on their parents, be single, have no children and income of their own.
Important condition: you can include in your application only those family members who were included in your student visa application. If a spouse and children do not reside with an applicant during their studies or are in the UK on another visa, it is impossible to include them in a Graduate visa application. The exception is children who were born in the UK while an applicant was studying on a valid student visa.
If you want more information about a Graduate visa, you can contact immigration advisors at Imperial & Legal. Our specialists will explain in detail what you should do and, if it is necessary, will help you at every step of the way.
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