Apply for Post-Study Work Visa from 1 July 2021
John came to the UK at the age of 15 to study at an independent boarding school. He applied as a Child Student. The UKVI granted his Child Student visa application for 3 years until his 18’th birthday.
Then it became John’s cherish dream to continue his education and become an engineer. He applied to study at one of the Universities in London. His permission to stay application was granted for a total period of 5 years: one-year foundation programme; 3-year Bachelor Degree level and 1-year Master’s Degree level courses.
John did not want to do a PhD. However, he did not mind staying in the UK and exploring other options. Getting another Bachelor degree in Physics, perhaps?
John is now 23 and has spent over 8 years in the UK. If he were to remain in the UK for extra two years, he could potentially apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the grounds of long residence in the UK.
Due to the maximum period of study requirements for international students, John would have difficulty extending his Student Visa after getting his Masters Degree.
You see, according to the rules, if the course is at degree level, the grant of permission must not lead to John being granted more than five years’ permission as a student from the age of 18 to study courses at degree level unless the course of study is in one of the following subjects:
(a) architecture; or
(b) medicine; or
(c) dentistry; or
(d) veterinary medicine and science; or
(e) music at a music college that is a member of Conservatoires UK; or
(f) law, where the applicant has completed a course at degree level or above and is applying for a course of study which is:
(i) a law conversion course validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board in England and Wales; or
(ii) a Masters in Law (MLaw) in Northern Ireland; or
(iii) an accelerated graduate LLB in Scotland.
There is excellent news for John and for all international students in a similar situation. Last week the UK government announced that a new Graduate Route post-study work visa will open on 1 July 2021.
Who is Graduate Route for?
This route is for a graduate student in the UK who wants to work or look for work, following the successful completion of an eligible course of study at the UK bachelor’s degree level or above. The study must have been with a higher education provider with a track record of compliance.
The Graduate route is an unsponsored route. This means that neither universities nor prospective employers should support your application. If you have children or a spouse who already have permission as a dependant of a student – they can apply under this route too. They can also apply to extend their permission as a dependant on this route.
Can you Apply after 1 July 2021?
You can apply if you get your degree after 1 July 2021. All you need to prove is that you successfully graduated with a UK degree and a valid visa (either via Tier 4 or Student route).
Do You Need to Have a Job Offer?
No! You don’t have to have a job offer. There is no restriction on what kind of work you can do. There is no minimum income requirement. You can switch jobs. You can take your time looking for a job.
Do You Need to Make a New Application under the Graduate Route? When?
Yes, you’ll need to make your Graduate route application before the expiry of your student visa.
What are the Rules?
Appendix Graduate contains a set of rules covering all aspects of the Graduate route. It consists of 6 parts.
Parts 1, 2 and 3
The first three parts cover the key requirements of the Graduate route: the validity, the suitability and the eligibility requirements.
The decision section tells us that if your application is refused when applying under the routes, you’ll not have a right of appeal. Instead, you’ll be entitled to apply for Administrative Review.
Period and conditions of grants part explains that successful applicant will get the leave to remain (visa) for two years. It is unless you are applying after your PhD. All PhD holders can stay for 3 years in the UK on this route.
There will be standard conditions attached to your stay:
- You cannot claim benefits
- You can work in any field, but not as a professional sportsperson;
- You can study with one limitation: not with an education provider which is a Student sponsor, and which would meet the approved qualification and level of study requirements of the Student route, which are set out in Appendix Student.
Perhaps they placed this limitation so that you don’t take the place of another prospective talented student from abroad?
All studies are subject to the ATAS condition in Appendix ATAS.
What is ATAS?
ATAS stands for Academic Technology Approval Scheme. It applies to all international students (apart from exempt nationalities) who are subject to UK immigration control and intend to study at the postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects. The subjects are those where students’ knowledge could be used in programmes to develop Advanced Conventional Military Technology (ACMT), weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery. These students will need to apply for an ATAS certificate before they can study these subjects.
- And finally, you’ll need to register with Police if part 10 of Immigration Rules applies.
In the next article, we’ll have a closer look at the key elements of the Graduate Route: the validity, suitability and eligibility requirements.