Many times it has been observed that students usually prefer to extend their stay, especially in the UK, post the completion of their studies. As a result, they need to look out for ways to convert their student visas to other legal categories, which can allow them to legally reside and do what they aim for. Moreover, studying in the UK helps in transforming career growth tremendously by providing renewed perspectives, inspirational thoughts, and critical thinking, not to mention the globally recognized degree that one is able to add to their resume. Thus, one of the ways to be able to extend one’s stay is with the help of the – Graduate Route (which was formerly called Post Study Work Visa). It is a new immigration route introduced recently for international students, who have completed their certification at a UK University. With the help of this process, passed-out graduates are given the right to elongate their period of stay for a specific time, beyond their academic completion. Having said that since these rules keep getting amended regularly by the immigration department, it is always a good practice to verify the information, either on their government’s website or consult visa counseling experts such as Inspired Overseas, especially to increase chances of success. According to recent statistics. It has been found that students from the UK have been amongst the most employable in the world. About seven in ten international students have said that they are advancing further in the corporate arena, such as getting higher positions and being rewarded better remunerations, at a much-accelerated pace.
Talking about the graduate route, there are a few criteria & conditions to be met, in order to obtain the requisite stamping on the passport. A few points to be kept in mind has been explained below.
- Eligibility – The first condition is that one must have successfully completed a degree at a recognized UK higher education institution, where the degree must be felicitated by a licensed Student Sponsor. The student visa should have expired within the last two years and one should be within the UK to apply, considering that the academic requirements are being met for the course done.
- Duration – The time period allowed under this category is up to two years for a Bachelor’s as well as a Master’s, however, if it’s for a Ph.D, a person can stay up to three years. Moreover, since this is an unsponsored category, one can utilize the time to work at any skill level, where one can switch jobs or perform multiple jobs, even if it is for work experience, internship, freelancing, etc. In addition, once the graduate route visa is about to expire, the immigration permits to convert it into a skilled work route (visa), upon having found a preferable employment.
- Cost – There is a charge for the visa, which is a one-off application charge of £822, which is to be paid in full. A further charge is applied for the Immigration Health Surcharge which has an annual remittance of £624. Student’s Guide to UK Study Expenses.
- When – As long as your University / College has informed the Home Office about the successful completion of the course, one can apply for the graduate route. The application requires the person to prove their identity and provide the relevant documents.
- Study – Studying under this particular visa is not allowed unless the chosen course does not fall into the category of Student visa. However, if there are certain sensitive topics that need to be studied or researched, then they would have to be done under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate. The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) applies to all international students and researchers (apart from exempt nationalities) who are subject to UK immigration control and intend to study or research at the postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects. The subjects and research areas are those where knowledge could be used in programs to develop Advanced Conventional Military Technology (ACMT), weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), or their means of delivery. Researchers and students in these sensitive subjects must apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before they can study or start research in the UK.
With these points, students will be able to find some alternatives to be able to stay in the UK for a longer period and fulfill their dreams, which depend on their residency status.