Graduate visa route – July 2021

On 1st July 2021, the Home Office launched the new Graduate route visa which is open to international students who successfully complete a degree at undergraduate level or above in the UK.

This route will allow graduates to either work or look for work after their studies for a maximum period of two years or three years for Doctoral students. This new visa route is very similar to the Tier 1 Post Study work route which was discontinued by the Home Office in 2012.  The government have said that the idea behind the new visa route is to allow the UK to retain the brightest and best international students to contribute to society and the economy post-study. 


To be eligible for this route, international students must have completed an eligible course at a UK higher education provider and have a track record of compliance with the government’s immigration requirements. The Graduate route will be unsponsored which means applicants do not need a job offer to apply for the route. It is also more flexible as there will be no minimum salary requirements or caps on numbers. Graduates will therefore be able to work flexibly and switch jobs freely without the need for a ‘Change of Employment’ application. At the end of the 2/3 years (which ever is applicable) on the Graduate visa they will not be able to extend. However, they may be able to switch into the Skilled Worker category provided they meet the criteria.


As mentioned above, individuals on the Graduate visa would be unsponsored and therefore would not be tied to any specific employer. There are no restrictions to what type of work the individual can undertake except as a professional sportsperson. An important consideration is that if you wish to retain this individual as the end of the Graduate route visa, you would need to ensure the role meets the skill and salary minimum thresholds in order to be able to switch to the Skilled Worker visa category.

How can Mazars help with this?

We can assist individuals who are currently on a Student Visa (previously known as Tier 4) who would like to switch to the new Graduate visa. We can also assess the role they will be undertaking for you and advise on long term options should you wish to retain them at the end of the Graduate route.

Get in touch

If you have any queries relating to this, please contact the Immigration team below.