Graduate Visa UK: Everything You Need to Know

Overview of the Graduate Visa UK

If you are an international student who has completed a degree in the UK, you may be eligible to stay and work in the country through a graduate visa. The graduate visa UK, also known as the post-study work visa, allows you to stay in the UK for up to two years after completing your degree to work or look for work.

To be eligible for the graduate visa UK, you must have completed a degree at a UK university or higher education institution. The degree must be at the undergraduate level or higher, and you must have completed the degree within the past two years.

The graduate visa UK is a great opportunity for international students to gain work experience in the UK after completing their studies. It allows you to work in any job or sector, and you do not need a job offer to apply. Additionally, the graduate visa UK does not require a minimum salary or skill level, making it accessible to a wide range of graduates.

It is important to note that the graduate visa UK is a temporary visa and does not lead to permanent residency in the UK. However, it can be a stepping stone towards other visa options, such as the skilled worker visa.

To apply for the graduate visa UK, you must submit an application online within two years of completing your degree. The application fee is currently £700, and you must provide evidence of your degree and English language proficiency.

Overall, the graduate visa UK is a valuable opportunity for international graduates to gain work experience in the UK and potentially pursue other visa options in the future.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a Graduate Visa in the UK, you must meet certain criteria regarding your academic qualifications, financial requirements, and English language proficiency. Here are the three main sub-sections of eligibility criteria:

Academic Qualifications

To be eligible for a Graduate Visa in the UK, you must have completed a degree from a UK higher education institution. This includes Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD degrees. If you completed your degree outside of the UK, it must be recognized as equivalent to a UK degree.

Financial Requirements

You must also meet certain financial requirements to be eligible for a Graduate Visa in the UK. You must have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds. The exact amount you need depends on your individual circumstances, such as where you will be living in the UK. You can find more information about the financial requirements on the UK government’s website.

English Language Proficiency

To be eligible for a Graduate Visa in the UK, you must be able to speak, read, write, and understand English at a certain level. The exact level depends on the type of visa you are applying for and your individual circumstances. You can prove your English language proficiency by taking an approved English language test, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Overall, meeting these eligibility criteria is essential to obtaining a Graduate Visa in the UK. Make sure to carefully review the requirements and provide all necessary documentation to increase your chances of success.

Application Process

If you are an international student who has recently completed your degree in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Graduate Visa. Here are the steps you need to follow to apply for a Graduate Visa in the UK.

Required Documents

Before you start your application, make sure you have the following documents ready:

  • A valid passport
  • A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your university
  • Evidence of your English language proficiency
  • Proof of your financial ability to support yourself during your stay in the UK
  • Tuberculosis test results (if applicable)

Steps to Apply

To apply for a Graduate Visa, follow these steps:

  1. Complete the online application form on the UK government website.
  2. Pay the visa application fee.
  3. Book an appointment at a visa application center.
  4. Attend your appointment to submit your biometric information and supporting documents.

Visa Fees

The cost of a Graduate Visa in the UK is £700. You may also be required to pay an additional healthcare surcharge of £624 per year.

Please note that the application process can take several weeks, so it is important to apply well in advance of your current visa’s expiration date. Good luck with your application!

Rights and Restrictions

If you are an international student studying in the UK and you have completed your degree, you may be eligible for a Graduate Visa. The Graduate Visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to two years after completing your studies. During this time, you have certain rights and restrictions.

Work Rights

One of the benefits of the Graduate Visa is that you have the right to work in the UK. You can work at any skill and salary rate for a period of two years after graduation. If you are a PhD graduate, you can stay in the UK for up to three years after graduation. This gives you the opportunity to gain work experience and potentially find a job that will allow you to stay in the UK long-term.

Travel Rights

With the Graduate Visa, you have the right to travel in and out of the UK as many times as you want during the two-year period. This means you can visit your home country or travel to other countries for leisure or business purposes. However, keep in mind that you will need to have a valid passport and any necessary visas for the countries you plan to visit.

Restrictions

While the Graduate Visa does come with certain benefits, there are also some restrictions to keep in mind. You cannot access public funds, which means you cannot claim benefits or use certain public services. Additionally, you cannot switch to another visa category while on the Graduate Visa. This means that if you want to stay in the UK after the two-year period, you will need to apply for a different visa.

It’s important to note that the information provided in this section is accurate as of the current date. Immigration laws and policies can change, so it’s always a good idea to check with the UK government’s official immigration website for the most up-to-date information.

Duration and Extension

Visa Validity

The Graduate Visa in the UK is valid for a period of two years. This visa allows international students who have completed their degree in the UK to stay and work in the country for up to two years. The visa is also known as the Post-Study Work Visa (PSW) and is available to students who have completed a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD degree in the UK.

It is important to note that the Graduate Visa is not extendable beyond the initial two-year period. Therefore, it is crucial for students to plan their stay in the UK accordingly and make the most of the two-year period.

Extension Options

While the Graduate Visa is not extendable, there are other visa options available for international students who wish to stay in the UK after their two-year visa has expired.

One option is the Tier 2 (General) visa, which is a work visa that allows individuals to work in the UK for up to five years. To be eligible for this visa, individuals must have a job offer from a UK employer who is willing to sponsor their visa application.

Another option is the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, which is for individuals who wish to set up a business in the UK. This visa allows individuals to stay in the UK for up to three years and four months, with the option to extend for an additional two years.

Finally, the Tier 4 (General) student visa is an option for individuals who wish to continue their studies in the UK. This visa allows individuals to study in the UK for up to five years, with the option to extend for an additional six months after their course has ended.

Overall, while the Graduate Visa has a fixed duration of two years, there are other visa options available for international students who wish to stay in the UK after their visa has expired. It is important for individuals to research their options and plan accordingly to ensure a smooth transition after their two-year visa has ended.

Switching from Student Visa

If you are an international student who has completed your studies in the UK, you may be eligible to switch to a Graduate Visa. This visa allows you to stay in the UK for two years after graduation, or three years if you are a PhD graduate, to live and work at any skill level.

To be eligible for a Graduate Visa, you must have completed a degree at a UK higher education institution and have a valid Tier 4 (General) Student Visa or a Student Visa that was granted for a course that lasted longer than 12 months. You must also apply for the visa before your current visa expires.

Switching to a Graduate Visa can be a great opportunity for you to gain work experience in the UK and potentially transition to a longer-term visa. During your time on the Graduate Visa, you can work in any job at any skill level, including self-employment. You can also switch to a Skilled Worker Visa if you find a job that meets the eligibility criteria.

It is important to note that the Graduate Visa is not a route to settlement in the UK. However, it can be a valuable stepping stone towards a longer-term visa, such as the Skilled Worker Visa or the Innovator Visa.

Overall, switching to a Graduate Visa can be a great way for international students to gain work experience in the UK and potentially transition to a longer-term visa. If you are interested in switching to a Graduate Visa, be sure to check the eligibility criteria and apply before your current visa expires.

Healthcare and Social Security

As an international student in the UK, you may be wondering how you will access healthcare and social security benefits during your stay. Here is what you need to know about healthcare and social security for graduate visa holders in the UK.

Healthcare

The UK has a National Health Service (NHS) which provides free healthcare to residents. As a graduate visa holder, you are considered a resident and are entitled to use the NHS. However, you must pay an immigration health surcharge (IHS) when you apply for your visa. The IHS is a fee that helps fund the NHS and is currently £624 per year.

Once you have paid the IHS and have your visa, you can register with a local doctor (GP) and access NHS services. You will need to provide proof of your visa and may need to pay for certain services, such as dental care and prescriptions.

Social Security

As a graduate visa holder, you may be eligible for certain social security benefits in the UK. However, this will depend on your circumstances and you will need to meet certain conditions to qualify.

For example, you may be eligible for Jobseeker’s Allowance if you are looking for work and meet the eligibility criteria. You may also be eligible for Housing Benefit if you are on a low income and need help paying your rent.

It is important to note that social security benefits are means-tested, which means that your eligibility will depend on your income and savings. You may also need to provide evidence of your income and savings when you apply for benefits.

Overall, as a graduate visa holder in the UK, you are entitled to access healthcare and may be eligible for certain social security benefits. Make sure to pay the IHS when you apply for your visa and check your eligibility for benefits if you need them.

Graduate Visa Refusal and Appeals

If your application for a Graduate visa in the UK is refused, you may be able to appeal the decision. However, it’s important to note that not all refusals can be appealed.

If your application was refused because you didn’t meet the eligibility requirements, you won’t be able to appeal. However, if your application was refused because of a mistake made by the Home Office or because you believe the decision was unfair, you may be able to appeal.

To appeal the decision, you’ll need to complete an appeal form and provide supporting evidence. The appeal will be heard by an independent tribunal, who will review your case and make a decision.

It’s important to note that appealing a decision can be a lengthy process, and there’s no guarantee that your appeal will be successful. However, if you believe that the decision was unfair or that a mistake was made, it may be worth considering an appeal.

If you’re considering appealing a decision, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice. An immigration lawyer can help you understand your options and provide guidance on the best course of action.

In summary, if your Graduate visa application is refused, you may be able to appeal the decision if it was due to a mistake or unfair decision. However, not all refusals can be appealed, and appealing a decision can be a lengthy process. It’s important to seek legal advice if you’re considering an appeal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for the Graduate visa in the UK?

To apply for the Graduate visa in the UK, you need to apply online. You can apply up to three months before your course ends, and you must apply before your current visa expires. You will need to provide proof of your identity, your qualifications, your financial status, and your English language proficiency. You will also need to pay the application fee and the healthcare surcharge.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Graduate visa in the UK?

To be eligible for the Graduate visa in the UK, you must have completed a degree at a UK higher education institution, or a qualifying course at a UK higher education institution that lasted at least 12 months. You must have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa, or a Tier 4 or Student visa that expired within the last two years. You must also meet the English language requirement and have enough money to support yourself without working or accessing public funds.

What is the duration of the Graduate visa in the UK?

The Graduate visa in the UK is valid for two years, or three years if you have a PhD. You can work, look for work, or start your own business during this time. You can also switch to another visa category if you meet the eligibility requirements.

What are the fees for the Graduate visa and dependent visa in the UK?

The application fee for the Graduate visa in the UK is £700. The healthcare surcharge is £624 per year. You may also need to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is £470 per year. The fee for a dependent visa is £475 per person.

What are the post-study work options available with the Graduate visa in the UK?

With the Graduate visa in the UK, you can work, look for work, or start your own business. You can work in any sector and at any level. You do not need a job offer or a sponsor, and there is no minimum salary requirement. You can switch to another visa category if you meet the eligibility requirements.

What are the settlement options available after the Graduate visa in the UK?

After the Graduate visa in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for settlement under the Skilled Worker visa category, the Global Talent visa category, or the Innovator visa category. You may also be eligible to apply for British citizenship if you meet the eligibility requirements.

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