Graduate route for best and brightest launches


New immigration route provides greater opportunity for talented international graduates.


A new immigration route has opened on July 2021, allowing international graduates to kick-start their careers in the UK after they have finished their studies at a UK university. The Graduate route provides an opportunity for talented international graduates who have been awarded their degree from a UK university to stay in the UK and work, or look for work, at any skill level for at least 2 years. The new route, part of the points-based immigration system, will help attract the best talent from around the world and ensures that businesses can recruit the most highly qualified from across the globe to complement the skills already in the UK, helping drive the economy forwards as Britain builds back better from the pandemic. The Graduate route will work for all corners of the UK, ensuring that communities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can benefit from talented individuals who want to build their careers in the UK after their studies.

International graduates must have completed an eligible course at a UK higher education provider, with a track record of compliance with the government’s immigration requirements, to apply to the Graduate route. The Graduate route is unsponsored, meaning applicants do not need a job offer to apply to the route. There is no minimum salary requirements nor caps on numbers. Graduates on the route can work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required. 

A coronavirus concession on the date by which students must enter the UK, if they started courses in 2020 and are unable to travel due to the pandemic, has been extended to 27 September, recognising the continuing disruption many face due to international travel restrictions. Applicants who began their studies in autumn 2020 or in spring 2021 will need to be in the UK with permission as a student by 27 September 2021. Students beginning their course this autumn or early next year will need to be in the UK by 6 April 2022.