These 3 Rules Will Help You Avoid the Refusal of Your Post-Study Work Visa
The UK government has just announced that a new Graduate post-study work Route will open on 1 July 2021. The last article will help you understand the purpose of the route and the categories of those who can apply. You’ll also get an overview of Appendix Graduate structure – the rules governing these applications.
These 3 Rules Will Help You Avoid the Refusal of Your Post-Study Work Visa
Today we’ll concentrate on 3 rules, 3 key elements of the Graduate Route, which will help you avoid the refusal of your post-study work visa application.
In order to succeed in your post-study work visa application, you’ll need to meet three requirements: validity, suitability and eligibility requirements. If you understand how they work – you’ll be able to avoid the refusal of your application.
To help you understand this route better, I’ve also created a very simple to read and understand mindmap, which you can access HERE. This access is free and instant.
The Validity Requirements
If you do not meet the validity requirements – the UKVI will not refuse your application. It will ‘reject it’ as invalid. The validity requirements cover the procedural part of the application.
To meet the validity requirement, you should start by completing the correct form. The form is called ‘Graduate’ and will be available from gov.uk website from 1 July 2021.
The Fee and IHS
You’ll need to pay the fee during the application process and also the Immigration Health Surcharge. The Home Office will confirm the fee nearer to the date of the Post-Study Work Visa launch.
There two rates of Immigration Health Surcharge: full rate (£624) and discounted rate (£427). The discounted rate is for students, Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders and children under 18 at the time of application. Although the Home Office did not specify the rate at this stage, it is likely to be £624 per year. So the Immigration Health Surcharge for two-year permission to stay under the Graduate route will be £1,248.
Within approximately one month after submitting your application, you’ll be asked to provide your fingerprints and photo. In other words, you’ll need to provide your ‘biometric information’. The UKVI will include this information in your biometric residence permit (BRP) as part of your visa application. You need to have a digital photo taken of your face and put your fingers on a glass screen to be scanned. The process takes less than 5 minutes and does not involve any ink or mess.
You’ll usually need to go to either a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point or a Service and Support Centre (SSC). Alternatively, you can provide your biometrics at a participating Post Office branch.
You’ll also need to provide your passport to confirm your identity and nationality together with the documents supporting your application.
In the UK
You can only submit this application if you are in the UK
Your Last Grant
Your last grant should be a Student visa grant. If you have been previously granted permission under the Doctorate Extension Scheme or as a Graduate – unfortunately, you will not be able to apply again.
Scholarships and Awards
If, in the 12 months before the date of your application, you were awarded a scholarship or sponsorship by a Government or international scholarship agency, you’ll have to provide written consent to this application from the awarding body.
The validity requirements are relatively simple, straightforward and are pretty easy to meet.
The Suitability Requirements
The second key element of a successful Graduate route visa application is your ability to meet the suitability requirements. Decision-makers usually check if you meet the suitability requirement after you demonstrated that you meet the validity requirements.
Suitability requirements have two aspects.
First of all, the decision-makers would like to ensure that you are a ‘suitable person’ to remain in the UK and your presence in the UK is conducive to the public good. In other words, is your presence in the UK going to be good for the UK public?
This requirement relates to the character, conduct, and associations of the applicants wishing to remain in the UK.
You need to check a detailed list of all factors, which the Home Office will be looking at when considering the suitability requirements. You’ll find all the necessary rules at Immigration Rules, Part 9: grounds for refusal.
You will most likely have no difficulty meeting this requirement. It is if the UK Government did not exclude or deport you from the UK, if you do not have any criminal convictions, no debts to NHS, and have an immaculate immigration history.
The Eligibility Requirements
The eligibility requirements are the unique features of your application.
The Graduate route will be a part of the UK’s new points-based immigration system. All applicants applying under the new points-based immigration system will need to score 70 points.
To score 70 points under the Graduate route, you’ll need to prove the following three requirements:
- Successful completion requirement
- Qualification requirement
- Study in the UK requirement
Unlike other points-based UK Immigration routes, none of the above 70 points are tradable. In other words, you cannot ‘mix and match’ the requirements and will need to meet them all to succeed.
Successful Completion Requirement
The successful completion requirement consists of three elements:
- The University or College (your Sponsor) where you studied will need to have a track record of compliance on the date of application.
What does this mean? It means that your Sponsor complied with all the duties which the Home Office entrusted it with. This particular element is entirely beyond your control. It will depend on your University to meet it.
- You have successfully completed the course of study (undertaken during the last grant of permission to study on the Student route).
You’ll need to prove two aspects here: 1. You did graduate from the University; 2. your last visa was a student visa.
- The student sponsor has notified the Home Office that you have successfully completed the course of study by the date of application.
Again, this task is for your University. You may want to double-check that your University did get in touch with the Home Office and told them that you have a degree now.
The Home Office will accept three types of qualifications:
- A UK Bachelor Degree
- A UK Postgraduate Degree
- Any of the following 6 courses:
- a law conversion course validated by the Joint Academic Stage Board in England and Wales;
- the Legal Practice Course in England and Wales, the Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland, or a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland
- the Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland
- a foundation programme in Medicine or Dentistry
- a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE);
- a professional course requiring study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above in a profession with reserved activities regulated by UK law or UK public authority.
Study in the UK requirement
This requirement will help the UKVI check if you spent sufficient time in the UK while studying. As you’ll see in just a moment, they did insert several Covid-19 concessions.
If your course was for 12 months or less, you should have spent the entire time studying in the UK. If your course was for more than 12 months, then you’ll need to prove that you studied for at least 12 months in the UK.
The Covid-19 concession provisions clarify that even if you were overseas from 24 January 2020 to 27 September 2021, this time would still be regarded as spent studying in the UK. For the Covid-19 concession to kick in, you need to show that your course began in 2020 and you entered the UK on or before 21 June 2021. If your course commenced in 2021, you should have entered the UK before 27 September 2021.
Whether your course started in 2020 or 2021, you should be completing it while still valid permission to enter or stay as a Student.
The Covid-19 concession provisions are more generous if your course of study was for longer than 12 months. As in this case, any period of time, which you spent outside the UK between 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021, will be disregarded.
And this is all that you need to prove to succeed in your Post-Study work visa. These 3 simple rules will help you avoid the refusal of your Post-Study Work Visa.
If you would like to have a visual, very easy to understand visual mindmap of this route, you can access it HERE.