Graduate Route Application
Below you can find more information about the application process for the Graduate Route.
When can I apply?
In general, any application should be made in the UK:
- While you still hold Student visa permission
- After your degree has been awarded
- After the University has confirmed your eligibility
Before any application is made the University will have to confirm to UKVI that your degree has been awarded. Student Records and Operations/Doctoral College Office will automatically do this for eligible Tier 4/Student visa holders and email each student when it has been done. They aim to report to UKVI and notify all eligible students as soon as practically possible, this should be within a week of the degree award being published by your Programme Board or the Doctoral College Office. If you are not notified as expected, please check with the relevant office. Otherwise there is no need for you to notify the University whether you intend to apply to the Graduate route but you must not apply before you have received confirmation of the degree report to UKVI.
Generally, a Student visa will be valid for 4 months beyond the expected end of studies given on a CAS. If you complete studies within the expected timescale there should be sufficient time for you to receive confirmation of your degree award and Graduate route eligibility to apply to switch to the Graduate route prior to Student visa expiry.
The Application Process
You need to complete the application process (including receipt of any BRP) while you remain in the UK. It is advisable to defer any travel abroad plans until after all is completed, if you leave the Common Travel Area (UK, Rep of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man) while an application is pending UKVI can treat it as withdrawn.
As long as you have made a valid application prior to your Student permission expiry you may remain in the UK throughout the application process.
UKVI’s standard service target for visa extensions is 8 weeks. In practice straightforward Graduate route applications have often been granted quickly e.g. within a week but this is not guaranteed.
Applications are made online using the link here.
The process is fully digital; generally everything can be completed online. Within the application process there are two ways to verify your ID:
“UK Immigration ID Check” app
You can complete this process on your phone if you have an Android phone (with NFC) or iPhone 7 or above. If you do not have a suitable phone available, you can use a friend’s as no information is stored on the phone after the process is complete.
If you cannot use the app e.g. you do not have a suitable phone, you have lost your BRP or the chip within your BRP is damaged, you should complete the application process online and book an in-person appointment to provide your biometric data. You may be charged extra for a biometric appointment and the processing time can be longer this way.
When your application is granted, you will receive an e-mail containing a PDF of your decision letter as well as confirmation of your digital status. The digital status will enable you to prove your right to live and work in the UK online e.g. to employers or landlords.
Visa nationals will also be issued a new Biometric Resident Permit (BRP), you will need the BRP for the purposes of re-entering the UK. Any BRP will only be valid until 31 December 2024, they will then be replaced by the digital status.
How much does it cost to apply?
You will need to pay an application fee (£715) and the Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year of visa i.e. either £1,248 or £1,872 if a PhD graduate. Full payment is required at the time of applying online.
If you cannot use the ‘ID Check’ App you may have to pay for attending a UVCAS biometric centre unless you are able to book a free appointment.
Do I need to provide any evidence with my application?
As the Student Records and Operations/Doctoral College Office confirm eligibility direct to UKVI the application will not require any other evidence of your degree outcome (e.g. transcript or degree certificate), you will need to confirm your previous CAS number and UKVI will use this reference to link to the degree report. The University e-mail confirming your eligibility for the Graduate route will include your CAS number for ease of reference.
The visa application does not require you to show you have a certain amount of money for your maintenance. You do not need to prove your academic qualifications or English language ability.
If your studies have been sponsored to cover both tuition fees and living expenses to any extent in the previous 12 months by a government or international scholarship agency you will need a letter from your former sponsor consenting to you staying longer.
Most applicants will find that the application requires:
- information as requested within the application
- a biometrics check (e.g. a photo and BRP or passport scan if using the app)
Last Updated: 27th April 2023