Credit: David MacKelvey

New immigration visa routes available for international graduates from July

By Sophie Call

The new visas will allow international graduates to stay and find work in the UK for up to two years and three years for doctoral graduates.

Beginning on 1 July 2021, international students will be eligible to apply for the new Graduate Route visa, which will allow international graduates to remain in the UK for two years and doctoral graduates to remain in for three years.

To be eligible, international students must have completed a selected course at a higher education institution, “with a track record of compliance with the government’s immigration requirements”. Successful international students will then have the right to stay in the UK to work or find work.

Unlike the current Skilled Worker visa, which was previously the primary route available for international students looking to remain in the UK, the new Graduate Route visa does not require sponsorship or have minimum salary requirements.

Whilst this visa scheme was first announced in September of 2019, Kevin Foster, the minister for future borders and immigration, more recently emphasised its impact in rebuilding the economy in a post-pandemic world, stating: “As we rebuild from the global pandemic, we want the world’s brightest talents, who aspire to a career at the highest levels of business, science, the arts, and technology, to see our United Kingdom as the natural place to fulfil their aspirations.”

The introduction of the visa scheme also falls in line with the government’s goal of increasing the number of international students in UK universities to 600,000 by 2030. With many immigration routes now closed to European international students following Brexit, there is hope that this scheme will appeal to students who are hoping to not only to study, but to stay and work within the UK post-graduation.For University of Glasgow students interested in taking advantage of the Graduate Route visa, more information can be found on the UKCISA website, as well as on the International Student Support section of the University of Glasgow website.


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