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Graduate Visa

Graduate visa

The graduate visa allows you to stay in the United Kingdom for 2 years after the end of your student visa. You can work or look for employment during this time. It is only available to students who have completed an undergraduate degree or higher.

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What you can do

  • Stay in the UK for 2 or 3 years after your student visa expires, depending on your degree level.

  • Work or be self-employed.

  • Study, unless the education provider is offering a course which would not usually require a CAS.

  • Switch to a different visa.

  • Leave the UK and return without issue.

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What you can't do

  • Bring your dependants, unless they were here during your student visa.

  • Extend your graduate visa.

  • Switch to a student visa and apply again for another graduate visa.

  • Receive public funds.

  • Apply for settlement



Valid Passport

Biometric Residence Permit

You must have a valid passport to apply.

If you received a BRP when your student visa was granted, you will need it for the application.

Student visa

You must have last held permission to be in the United Kingdom as a student. You cannot apply if you had any other visa.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies

Successful completion of course

You will need your CAS reference number given to you by your education provider at the time you applied for a student visa.

Your education provider must have informed UKVI that you have successfully completed your course. This does not mean you must have graduated.

The current application fee for a graduate visa is £822. You will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge which is £1,035 per year.

Term & Fees

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You can only stay in the UK on this visa for 2 or 3 years, depending on your previous course. It is not possible to extend this visa.


ukvi processing time

The current processing time for graduate visa applications is approximately 8 weeks. There is no enhanced service available for a faster decision, but you can remain in the United Kingdom while your application is processed.


Next Steps

If your application for a graduate 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 visa is refused, you will receive a refusal letter outlining the reasons. There is no right of appeal, but you may consider applying for an administrative review if you believe an incorrect decision has been made based on a casework error. 

Next Step

Next Steps

If you want to remain in the UK beyond your graduate visa, you can switch to another route which allows you to do so. The most common route to switch to is the skilled worker visa. You will need to have an employment offer from a sponsor who has the appropriate UKVI licence. Your employer can then sponsor you for up to 5 years to live and work in the UK. Alternatively, you may apply for another student visa or a family visa, if your circumstances make you eligible to do so.

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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