Applying for a Graduate Visa after your studies


Category: Student blogs

18 October 2023

Dominque initially planning to leave England after their music therapy program, discovered the Graduate Immigration Route, allowing her to extend her stay without a job offer. This visa permits international students to work in the UK for two to three years, offering flexibility in job choices and career development. However, it doesn't lead to settlement, and focusing on studies before the student visa expires is crucial to eligibility.

Exploring the Graduate Immigration Route

I am considering extending my stay here in England through the Graduate Immigration Route. When I applied and arrived in England, I was fairly certain that I would be leaving after my two-year programme in music therapy. I didn’t know that there was the graduate visa scheme that would allow me to extend my stay, so I ruled it out. Once I found out about it, I felt like so many other doors to possibilities opened up, and as I am approaching my one-year mark here in England, I am considering staying and looking for work.

Understanding the Graduate Immigration Route

The UK has recently introduced the Graduate Immigration Route for international students who want to start their careers here after completing their degrees. This visa allows graduates to work in the UK for up to two years (for Bachelors and Masters degree holders) or three years (for PhD holders) without needing a job offer. The route is open to those with valid student visas at the time of application and allows flexibility in terms of job switching, freelancing, and career development. Dependants of current student visa holders can also apply to extend their stay as dependants.

Important Considerations and Future Opportunities

While this route doesn't lead to settlement in the UK, other visas could be explored after, like Skilled Worker, Global Talent, or Innovator visas. It's important to note that if your student visa expires before you are successfully awarded your degree, you won't be eligible. Therefore, focusing on studies before your student visa expires is crucial. You can find more information on your ARU SharePoint portal. Under International Students, click the tab Working in the UK and working after you graduate. This will give you all the information you need to see if this path is right for you!


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