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June 29, 2021, by indybamra1

The New Graduate Immigration Route. What Does This Mean for Me?

By Sarah Allen, Senior Careers Adviser.

For international students thinking about staying in the UK after graduation, the new Graduate Immigration Route offers an exciting opportunity.

From July 1 2021, international students who successfully complete a Bachelors or Masters level qualification, and have a valid tier 4 / student visa, will be eligible to apply for this new type of visa. If you are considering this, then you will need to be in the UK.

The new visa does not require employer sponsorship and you will be able to stay in the UK for two years after graduation (or three years following a PhD). This visa offers far more flexibility and freedom than previous immigration routes. Below are some ideas about how you could use this opportunity to enhance your employability skills!

Apply for graduate roles

Although the new visa does not give international students permanent leave to remain in the UK, it may be possible for you to apply for permanent or fixed-term graduate roles. Once you have found a suitable role your employer may provide sponsorship for the Skilled Worker Visa, which would enable you to stay longer in the UK. If you are an employer who wants to recruit international graduates, you can find out more here.

Work Experience

There are no salary requirements as part of the Graduate Immigration Route and there is no pressure to find a permanent role with a sponsoring employer. You are free to find work experience with any number of employers to boost your CV and help you make long-term career decisions.

Voluntary work

You can also use this new visa to volunteer, if you would like to build your skills. For example you may want to build skills within the charitable or healthcare sectors. You could choose to do this whilst working part-time in a separate role.

Travel in the UK

Covid-19 has made it more difficult for international students to explore the UK during their studies. However, this visa gives you much more time to travel around the UK, perhaps working or volunteering as you go. You could travel to London, Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, Cornwall to name a few. International students will now have much more freedom to work and spend time in areas outside of Nottingham.

Take your time

The Graduate Immigration route offers you the freedom to take a little more time to make career decisions. You could benefit from a little more breathing space to consider your own strengths and skills as well as the opportunities open to you. The Careers and Employability Service are available to talk to, whenever you need. If you are a postgraduate student who is part of the Nottingham University Business School you can book a careers appointment with the postgraduate careers team by emailing them at:

For more information about the Graduate Immigration route you can visit the below websites:

You can always book an appointment with a careers adviser if you’d like to discuss your options. If you have any queries about the Graduate Immigration Route, please speak to the University of Nottingham Visa and Immigration team.

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdviceGraduating in 2021International StudentsLabour Market Insights