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16 May 2024

The 2024 Graduate Visa review: the visa will stay

The Graduate Visa will remain available for the foreseeable future. Read on to find out more about the results of the review.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Student who has graduated but will be able to stay in the UK following the MAC Graduate Visa review.

Earlier this year, it was announced that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) would be reviewing the Graduate Visa route to see if it was still viable, and to make sure it was not being abused. The Home Secretary commissioned the report.

The Graduate Visa review was published on 14 May, and has found that the route is still working and fit for purpose. They have not recommended any direct changes to the Graduate Visa route itself, but they have suggested some changes in other areas related to it. 

Keep reading to see a more detailed look at MAC’s Graduate Visa review findings, and to see what recommendations they have made.

Graduate Visa review findings

There are several reasons why MAC has recommended that the Graduate Visa remains open. 

Essentially, MAC found that the visa has achieved the goals that it was created for. These goals include:

  • Increase the UK’s attractiveness to international students
  • Retain talented students once their studies are over
  • Ensure access for UK employers to a pool of skilled graduates 

Aside from meeting its goals, MAC also concluded that there is no issue regarding people abusing Graduate Visa rules.

The Government have provided a PDF of MAC’s findings and recommendations if you want a deeper dive into how they carried out their research. It is 70 pages long, so it is a time-consuming read. It may be best to read our overview first, and then read their full review another time. 

MAC’s recommendations

Though they made no recommendations that would result in the Graduate Visa’s rules being changed, they did offer some recommendations to other areas that could assist with monitoring the visa.

The Graduate Visa review recommendations are as follows:

  • Require universities to inform the Home Office that students have completed their studies
  • Universities should publish data on how many students have been recruited through recruitment agents, as well as the costs
  • Create a mandatory registration system for international recruitment agents to ensure that they do not provide misleading information
  • That the Government should only change the Graduate Visa route if it has a plan on how to collect and monitor data to see how effective the route is 

What do the recommendations mean?

Whilst MAC are commissioned by the Government to investigate and report on matters, such as with the Graduate Visa review, they can only provide recommendations.

Nothing that MAC recommends has to be put in place by the Government if they choose to do so, and they could still remove the Graduate Visa route if they decided to.

However, MAC does heavily influence Government decision making, such as with the introduction of the Immigration Salary List, so their recommendations are likely to be introduced. 

Due to the influence MAC has, it is likely that the recommendations outlined in the previous section regarding recruitment and monitoring will be put into place at some point in the future. 

The recommendations will have a positive impact on the outlook of employers, as they will continue to have access to a pool of skilled graduates. As a result of this, graduates will continue to contribute to the UK economy.  

Additionally, it also means that students who are about to finish their studies will continue to have the Graduate Visa as an option, and they will be able to stay in the UK for longer if they want to.

How we can help

We have a team of immigration experts who can help you in applying for visas, such as the Student Visa and Graduate Visa. 

You can arrange a free 10-minute assessment, during which you can discuss your situation with a team member, and allow them to determine if we can help you or not. Once they have decided that we can help, you can arrange a longer, paid consultation in which we will give you guidance and advice. 

Get in touch with us today if you need our knowledgeable assistance. 

Ready for assistance?

If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment with one of our legal experts, contact Woodcock Law today. Call us on +44 (0)20 7712 1705 or email

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