A Graduate Visa is a legal document which is intended for talented and high-potential international students who have studied a recognised course at a UK institution.
The visa allows international students to stay in the UK for 2 years, after successfully completing a course in the UK.
While on the visa, the non-British individual can stay in the UK to look for a job, or work in a job at any skill level for 2 years (or 3 years for doctoral students).
We have summarised everything you need to know about Graduate Visas, so keep reading to find out more.
How do you apply for a Graduate Visa?
You must fill in the online application form. Your application will be processed by the Home Office.
You will usually hear back with a decision within 8 weeks, but in some circumstances, it may take longer to receive a decision. You will be contacted if this is the case.
If you want to apply to bring your partner and children with you to the UK as your dependants, then they will need to make a separate application.
I am an international student and my studies in the UK have been interrupted due to Covid-19. Can I still apply for a Graduate Visa?
Yes, you can still apply for a Graduate Visa. There have been specific concessions put in place, to allow the visa route for international students who have been studying remotely at UK universities due to Covid-19.
Click here to view the guidance for student visas in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
How much does a Graduate Visa cost?
- £715 for the application fee
- £624 for the healthcare surcharge, for each year you will be in the UK
You may be entitled to a refund of the healthcare surcharge if you later get a job in public sector healthcare.
How long can you stay in the UK on a Graduate Visa?
A Graduate Visa lasts for 2 years, so you can only stay in the UK for 2 years.
Your visa will start from the day your application is approved.
If you have a PhD or other doctoral qualification, your Graduate Visa will last for 3 years.
Can you extend a Graduate Visa?
No, you cannot extend a Graduate Visa.
But you may be able to switch to another visa if you want to stay in the UK, for example:
- a Skilled Worker Visa
- a Skilled Worker Visa
- a Start-Up Visa
- Entrepreneur Visa
- a Health and Care Worker Visa
What are the requirements for a Graduate Visa?
To be eligible for a Graduate Visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- you are currently in the UK on a Student Visa.
- you have studied in the UK for a bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree, or other eligible course, for a minimum period of time, with your Student Visa.
- your education provider (university or college) has confirmed to the Home Office that you have successfully completed your course.
What supporting documents do I need to apply for a Graduate Visa?
You will need to submit the following supporting documents when you apply for your Graduate Visa:
- A valid passport or other travel document that proves your identity and nationality.
- your biometric residence permit (BRP), if you were given one when you applied for your Student Visa.
- Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number from when you applied for your Student Visa.
- Proof of your relationship to any dependant family members you are applying for.
- A letter from your scholarship or sponsorship provider, approving your application, if they have paid for your course fees or living costs in the last 12 months.
- A certified translation of your documents, if they are not in English or Welsh.
- Any other documents that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requests.
Can I study in the UK on a Graduate Visa?
You can only study with a Graduate Visa if your chosen course is not eligible for a Student Visa.
If your course is eligible for a Student visa, you can extend your Student visa instead.
You may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if you are studying or researching sensitive topics.
Can I bring my partner and children with me on a Graduate Visa?
If you brought your partner and children with you to the UK as your ‘dependants’ on your Student Visa, then they can apply to stay as your dependants on your Graduate Visa.
If your child was born in the UK during your current Student Visa, then they can also apply.
If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours.
A dependant family member is defined as:
- your husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried partner
- your child under 18 - including if they were born in the UK during your stay
- your child over 18 if they are currently in the UK as your dependant
You must provide evidence of your relationship to any dependant family members. For instance, you can provide a marriage certificate, a birth certificate for your child, joint bank statements, or proof of your address.
Also, you must be able to prove that your civil partnership or marriage is recognised in the UK, or that you and your partner been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply.
What you can and cannot do while you are on a Graduate Visa:
There are rules which you have to follow while you are in the UK on a Graduate Visa:
While on a Graduate visa, you can:
- work in most jobs
- look for work
- be self-employed
- continue living in the UK with your partner and children, if they are eligible
- do voluntary work
- travel abroad and return to the UK
While on a Graduate Visa, you cannot:
- apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
- work as a professional sportsperson
Can a Graduate Visa be rejected?
It is possible for your Graduate Visa application to be rejected. Your rejection letter will outline the reason(s) for rejection and tell you your next steps.
Your application for a Graduate Visa may be rejected if:
- You failed the UK course, or you did not pass your dissertation.
- You have made the application while you were outside the UK.
- You have made the application too late, after your Student Visa has expired.
- Your application is inaccurate, misleading, or fraudulent.
- Your supporting documents are insufficient, inconsistent, in the wrong format, or fraudulent.
- You have applied for the wrong type of visa.
- You have followed improper advice.
If your visa application is refused, you may be able to make a new application, or ask for an administrative review, if you think an error has been made.
Where can I get help on my Graduate Visa application?
The immigration professionals at Synergy Immigration Solutions understand the complexity of the UK’s immigration laws and the issues that can arise during the application process.
That is why we house all the support services you need for immigration applications, under one roof. This means one cost, for complete support on your visa application.
We enjoy working with individuals who need assistance with their visa applications- whether it is a worker visa, sponsorship visa, student visa or visitor visa.
We have a high success rate of helping submit successful immigration application, so they can work or live in the UK for the short term, or for long stays.
- We will liaise with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on your behalf- saving you time, effort, workload, and stress.
- We will answer your questions and address any concerns. We are proud to offer a bespoke personalised service, tailoring our advice to suit your needs and ensure that your application has the best chance of success.
- We process all applications in an efficient and timely manner and keep our clients well-informed throughout the process.
Rest assured, you are in good hands if you leave your visa application to us.
It is vital that the correct documentation is in place to ensure the application is approved. We would always recommend that you appoint a specialist such as Synergy Immigration Solutions to manage this process for you.
Synergy Immigration Solutions is an OISC-registered company, offering a wide range of UK immigration visa services for both corporate and individual clients needing assistance with their visa issues and concerns.
Visit the Synergy Immigration Solutions website here to learn more.
Contact Synergy Immigration Solutions here, to get your visa today.
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