Graduate Visa

Innovator visa

 Graduate Visa

This route allows international graduates to start their careers after completing their undergraduate or postgraduate studies in the UK.

Graduate visa, as a part of the points-based immigration system, lasts for 2 years. If international graduates have a PHD or doctoral qualification, the visa will last for 3 years instead. This route is unsponsored, and you do not need to show funds, finance or demonstrate English language ability.

A partner and dependent children can apply to come to the UK on Graduate visa too. However, this route does not lead to settlement. People who want to stay beyond the period permitted will have to switch to another immigration route which leads to settlement, for example Innovator visa and Skilled Worker visa.


You must satisfy the following requirements when you apply the Graduate visa:

  • You are in the UK (If you are outside the UK, please refer to High Potential Individual Visa).
  • You are holding a valid Student visa or Tier 4 (General) Student visa.
  • You studied a bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or other eligible course in the UK at a Higher Education Provider above with a track of compliance for a minimum period of time with your student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa.
  • You have completed the entire course in the UK as a student (concessions will given on permitted study abroad programmes or remote study due to COVID-19).
  • You may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if you are studying or researching sensitive topics.

Please note that those who leave the UK after graduating from their bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or other eligible course, could lose the eligibility to apply Graduate route.


Visa fee: £715 for the main applicant

Applicants also need to pay Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). This is usually £624 for each year you’ll be in the UK.

Conditions of the visa

If you are granted Graduate visa, you can:

  • look for work and work in most jobs
  • be self-employed
  • do voluntary work
  • only study a course which is not eligible for the Student route

You cannot:

  • apply for most public funds or the State Pension
  • work as a professional sportsperson



If your partner and children joined you as dependants on your current Student route in the UK, they can apply for permission to stay as dependants on your Graduate visa. No new dependants are permitted, except your child who was born in the UK during your current Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa. If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours.