The Graduate route is an opportunity for international students in the UK to continue to stay, work, or look for work for an additional 2-years or 3- years (doctoral students) by applying for a Graduate route

This route is a part of the Global Talent Visa policy that focuses on recruiting talented individuals in the STEM sector. The Graduate route allows you to take up extra study in the UK, however, you cannot do so with a student sponsor and cannot study a course that meets the requirements of a Student visa. Also, you cannot study at a state school.

The Graduate route is not extendable and ends at the two-year or three-year mark. The Graduate route does not count towards your settlement. However, if you switch to another route like the Skilled Worker route, then that will count towards your settlement.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply to this route, you must have completed all the requirements of your degree at either the undergraduate level or higher or a professional qualification degree level or above that was named in your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) letter. This must be done at a qualified Higher Education Provider. Additionally, you must have a valid Tier-4 or Student visa at the time of applying.

This route does not need you to show funds or finance and does not need you to demonstrate your English language ability since you would have already demonstrated it by successfully completing your degree at a UK university. 

The route requires you to complete the entirety of your degree in the UK as a student, however certain concessions have been made in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the cost of applying to this route?

A person applying to the Graduate route will have to pay a fee of £700 whether it is for the 2-year or 3-year visa (doctoral students).

Applicants will also be required to pay the
Immigration Health Surcharge in order to access the National Health Services in the UK. This surcharge costs £624 per year and the entire amount needs to be paid at the time of applying. This means that if you are applying for a 2-year visa you will have to pay £1248 at the time of applying. 

When do I apply to the Graduate route?

You can only apply to the Graduate route after your university has provided you with your final results. You cannot apply before this, since, one of the requirements of this route is that the applicant should have completed their degree.

You must also ensure that you are in the UK when applying and you are not allowed to leave the UK or the
Common Travel Area while your decision is pending. The Home Office will allow you to stay in the UK if your current visa expires so long as your application is being considered. 



The application for the Graduate route is slightly different from the Student-Visa applications. The application process is entirely digital and successful applicants will be issued with an eVisa. The steps to applying are as follows: 

Step 1: Create a UK Visas and Immigration account on Gov.UK 

Step 2: Use the ‘UK Immigration ID Check’ app to verify your identity by using your BRC or BRP card. 

Step 3: Keep your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number handy. 

Those who cannot verify their identity using the app may visit a UK Visas and Citizenship Application Services centre (UKVCAS). 

If you have applied digitally, then you will receive a notification of the decision on your Graduate route application. You will need to sign into the View and Prove service on Gov.UK to access your eVisa. To do so, you will need: 

  • Details of your passport, BRP or BRC you used to apply; 
  • Date of birth;
  • Access to the mobile number or email address you used when applying. 

If any of your details have been updated since the application, you will need to use your updated details to sign in. 

This View and Prove service will allow you to: 

  • View your eVisa and its corresponding rights in the UK;
  • Prove your status to your employers, landlords, etc., with the ‘share code’ facility;
  • Update your details using the ‘update details’ function on the View and Prove service. 

If you didn’t apply digitally, then you can still use some of the online services to evidence your rights by choosing to use the online right to work service and the online right to rent service to prove your right to work and live respectively in the UK.

When travelling in and out of the UK, your status will be digitally checked on arrival and if you have a UKVI account you will not need to routinely prove your status. Please ensure all your travel documents have been updated to avoid unnecessary delays at the border. 

Yes, you will be able to switch to the Skilled Worker route so long as you meet the requirements of the Skilled Worker route. You may also switch to other work routes like the Global Talent and Innovator routes. More information on the different routes can be found on Gov.UK. 

You cannot bring in new dependants on the Graduate route. If you have existing dependants as your Student dependants then they may apply as a dependant of a Graduate at the same time you apply. They will also be required to pay the health surcharge as mentioned above. But you may not bring in new dependants. 

The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. While Woodcock Law Limited makes every effort to keep this information current, prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on


Woodcock Law & Notary Public is the combined trading name of Woodcock Law Limited (Co. No: 12080697) and Woodcock Notary Public Limited (Co. No: 12085976). Woodcock Law Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (registration number 664924). Woodcock Notary Public Limited is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury for work undertaken by Mr Nathan Woodcock as a Notary Public. Woodcock Law Limited is a member of Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association. (Membership Number: 7980).

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