How to Apply for a Graduate Visa

How to Apply for a Graduate Visa

Applying for a graduate visa can open opportunities to international students who have graduated from a degree or training course in the United Kingdom. If you wish to remain in the United Kingdom after you have graduated and your student visa has almost expired, you can consider replying for a graduate visa.

In order to give your graduate visa the best chance of acceptance, it is important to understand the eligibility criteria and the steps to correctly apply for your chosen visa. It can often be a complex process that requires great attention to ensure no mistakes are made; mistakes can result in your application being rejected.

If you require assistance with your graduate visa application, reach out to our friendly team today at 02045385124 for further guidance on how we can help you.

What is a Graduate Visa?

Once you have graduated from a study course in the United Kingdom, you can apply for a graduate visa. The graduate visa allows new graduates permission to remain in the United Kingdom for an additional 2 to 3 years after graduation to expand skills, gain work experience, and seek employment.

Whilst in the United Kingdom with immigration permission from a graduate visa, you can work and earn an income. If you seek employment on a more permanent basis and wish to remain in the United Kingdom to work for more than two years, you must apply for an alternative visa, such as a skilled worker visa. To become eligible for a worker visa, you must acquire sponsorship from an employer with a certificate of sponsorship.

Eligibility Requirements for a Graduate Visa

To apply for a graduate visa, you must be eligible to do so. You must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be in receipt of a valid student visa (you must apply before the expiry date of your student visa)
  • You have passed the course you were studying in the United Kingdom (if you have failed your course, you will not be eligible to apply for a graduate visa)
  • You must be present in the United Kingdom at the time of applying for your graduate visa
  • Your institution of study must have a valid sponsor licence
  • Studied in the United Kingdom for the full length of your course, or for 12 months consecutively (whichever one is longer)

If you are unsure if you meet the eligibility criteria to apply for a graduate visa, reach out to an expert immigration lawyer from Synergy Immigration Solutions today.

Is My Course Eligible?

The criteria for eligible courses for a graduate visa application are as follows:

  • Bachelors degree
  • Masters degree
  • Doctorate or PhD
  • Law conversion course
  • Foundation-level medicine or dentistry course
  • Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)
  • The Bar Practice Course

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Graduate Visa?

As part of the application process for a graduate visa, the Home Office will require you to show a set of specific documents from you that prove your identity and immigration status in the United Kingdom. You may be asked to present the following documentation:

  • A valid passport or an alternative travel document which shows your identity and nationality
  • Your biometric residence permit (BRP) which was issued at the time of your acceptance for your student visa
  • A confirmation of acceptance for studies reference number (this would been issued at the time of your student visa application approval)

You may also be asked to show the following, depending on your personal circumstances at the time of applying:

  • Proof of relationship with your children and partner (if you are applying with your spouse or children to live in the United Kingdom too.
  • If your education provider paid for your accommodation or tuition in the United Kingdom, the Home Office will require a letter from them to support your application.
How to Apply for a Graduate Visa

How to Apply for a Graduate Visa

In order to be considered for a graduate visa, you must apply online via the government website. Before you can apply, you must ensure that your education provider can approve you have completed, or you are on track to complete, your course of study to their satisfaction. Once they have done so, you can move forward with your application.

You do not necessarily have to have completed your course at the time of application, however, it is important to get confirmation of your intentions to do so from the college or university you have been studying at.

At the time of applying online, you should have your documents on hand in order to submit them if required. During the process, you may be asked to present your documents in person as proof of your immigration status and identity.

If you are eligible, you will receive an invitation to to the ‘UK Immigration ID Check’ where your biometric information from your student visa can be reused as part of your graduate visa application.

It will take some time for your application to be reviewed and considered by the Home Office. Regarding the outcome, you will receive a letter in the post explaining the decision of your application. If you are successful you will be able to remain in the United Kingdom for an additional two to three years, depending on how you meet the criteria.

If your application is unsuccessful, you will have to find an alternative way to remain in the United Kingdom, otherwise, you must return to your home country once your student visa reaches its expiry date.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Decision?

The average processing time for a graduate visa application is 8 weeks. After the 8 weeks, you should likely receive your decision from the Home Office. In some cases, the decision process could take longer. Reasons for increased waiting times may include an influx in applications, increased complexity of your application or staff shortages in the Home Office.

It is understandable to be anxious during this time, however, it is important to remain patient and be assured that you will receive a decision.

Applicants are permitted to remain in the United Kingdom whilst a decision is being made.

How Much Does a Graduate Visa Cost?

To apply online for a graduate visa, the applicant must pay a fixed application fee of £822. If your application is approved and you are permitted to remain in the United Kingdom, you will be required to pay the immigration health surcharge once per year. This fee covers the cost of the use of public healthcare services in the United Kingdom should you need to.

Why Was My Graduate Visa Application Refused?

Why Was My Graduate Visa Application Refused?

If your visa application is refused it could be for one of the following reasons:

  • You were not in the United Kingdom at the time of replying
  • Your student visa has expired
  • You did not complete your course of study or you failed
  • You made a mistake on your application
  • You did not submit the required documents in time and you were unable to prove your identity

The specific reason for your graduate visa application being declined will vary from person to person, however, it may still be possible to appeal for application for an administrative review. If you plan to do this, you should follow the instructions in your decision letter within the given timeframe.

If you require assistance with your graduate visa application appeal, our expert immigration team at Synergy Immigration Solutions are able to help.

Synergy Immigration Solutions

At Synergy Immigration Solutions we fully understand the sensitivity and complexity of immigration matters. In times where you may require the assistance of an immigration lawyer, our expert team is on hand to meet your needs and requirements to take away the burden of immigration matters.

Whether you require straightforward assistance with an application or you wish to appeal a denied decision, each case is dealt with in a highly professional matter where our client is our main priority.

No matter your query, our friendly team of advisors are here to help you. Call us on 02045385124 today.