UK Graduate Visa – Eligibility, Duration, Costs, Your Entitlements & Application Process (Everything Explained)

Each student who studies abroad is aware of the post-study work visa and how it works and how does it play an important part in a student’s life and career abroad. If you are planning to study in the UK, or you are in the United Kingdom already, you will be or may be in need of a post-study work visa. This post will explain everything about the UK Graduate Visa which provides a number of facilities to international students in the UK.

Details about UK Graduate Visa

This visa called ‘Graduate Visa’ provides permission to students to stay in the United Kingdom for a minimum of two years after they successfully complete their study or a course in the UK. It has to be noted that in order to get Graduate Visa, you have to be in the United Kingdom to apply for the same.

Eligibility Criteria for UK Graduate Visa

You are entitled to apply for this visa if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are in the United Kingdom
  • Your present visa is a Tier 4 (General) student visa or student visa
  • You have studied a bachelor’s, postgraduate degree, or other eligible course for a minimum period of time in the UK with your approved student visa or tier 4 (general) student visa.
  • Your university or college (your education provider) has informed the UK Home Office about the successful completion of your study.

Note: You may ask your university or college from where you have completed your study whether they have informed the Home Office about your successful completion of the study program with them.

Duration of the UK Graduate Visa

This visa lasts for two years. If you possess a Ph.D. or other doctoral qualifications, the graduate visa will have three years duration. Remember that the start date will commence from the day your visa application is approved.

If you think of staying in the UK for a longer period of time, you cannot make any extension to this visa. Therefore, you could be able to switch to a different type of visa, if you want such as a skilled worker visa.

Right Time to Apply for a Graduate Visa

You have to submit your UK Graduate Visa before your student visa or tier 4 (general) student visa expires. The main point to remember is that you can only submit the application once your education provider (university or college) tells the UK Home Office about your successful completion of the study program with your student visa or tier 4 (general) student visa. There is no need to wait until you have graduated or have been provided a certificate.

You are required to prove your identity and provide your documents. The application could take a long if you need an appointment for this.

Decision Time

Once everything is done such as application submission, providing identity proof, and documents provided, you will get a decision within 8 weeks.

Costs Involved

To apply for a UK Graduate Visa, the costs involved are mentioned as under:

  • £715 application fee
  • Healthcare surcharge – normally £624 for each year

What You Are Allowed to Do and Not Allowed to Do

  • You can work in most jobs
  • You may look for work
  • You may be self-employed
  • You may do voluntary work
  • You can travel abroad and return to the United Kingdom
  • Your partner and kids can live with you (if they are eligible)

Things You Can Not Do – You are not entitled to apply for most benefits like public funds or the state pension. You cannot work as a professional sportsperson.

How to Apply for the UK Graduate Visa

You may apply for this visa online at the official website of the United Kingdom Government. Your partner and kids can also stay with you providing that they are eligible.

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