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Graduate Trainee visa

If you are part of a graduate training programme for a managerial or specialist position, the graduate trainee visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to work for your employer in their UK branch. 

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What you can do

  • Work for your employer's UK branch for up to 12 months.

  • Study

  • Bring your dependants

  • Switch to different visa

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What you can't do

  • Extend your visa without leaving the UK

  • Receive public funds

  • Work in any role other than that which your sponsor has assigned to you

  • Settle in the UK



Valid Passport

You must have a valid passport to apply.

Existing Employment

You must already be employed by the overseas business for at least 3 months.

Current Immigration Status

You cannot switch to the graduate trainee visa if you currently hold any of the following visas:

  • Visitor

  • Short-term student

  • Parent of a child student

  • Seasonal worker

  • Domestic worker in a private household

  • Leave outside the Immigration Rules

Temporary Worker Licence

Your sponsor will need a valid 'Temporary Worker' licence with an A-rating in order to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

Certificate of Sponsorship

You must have a valid CoS confirming key details including your job, occupation code, salary, and start date.

Genuine Job

The job you are coming to the UK to undertake must not have been created mainly for you to be able to apply for this visa.

Job Progression

The job you are coming to the UK to undertake must be part of a structured graduate training programme, with clearly defined progression towards a managerial or specialist role within your employer's organisation.


Unless you have already been in the UK for 12 months or longer, you will need to show you have at least £1,270 held in your account for the 28 days prior to making the application.

English Language

There is no English language requirement for this route.


You may require a tuberculosis test depending on which country you are applying from. You could also be required to provide a criminal record certificate. 

The application fee for a graduate trainee visa is currently £298.

You will have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge of £1,035 per year.

Term & Fees

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You can stay on the graduate trainee visa for either 12 months or the length of your employment as stated on your CoS (plus 14 days), whichever is shorter.


ukvi processing time

The current processing time for the graduate trainee visa is approximately 3 weeks. You may be able to get a faster decision by paying for an enhanced service.


Next Steps

If your application for a graduate trainee visa is successful, you will receive a new biometric residence permit confirming the length and conditions of your permission to remain in the United Kingdom.

If your application for a graduate trainee visa is refused, you will receive a refusal letter outlining the reasons. You may consider applying for an administrative review if you believe an incorrect decision has been made based on a casework error. Alternatively, a fresh application may be more appropriate.

Next Step

Next Steps

If you want to remain in the UK beyond your graduate trainee visa, you must leave the UK and apply again from abroad.

Are you interested in making an application?

Use this form to fill in your information and one of our partners will get in touch to discuss your needs.

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We will aim to reply to you within 1 working day.

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