The Graduate Visa Route (GVR) was launched on 1 July 2021 and is a visa available to international students:
- who have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance; and
- who have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application.
It is part of the UK Governments points based immigration system and is a flexible 2 year post study work visa which does not require sponsorship from an employer or endorsement from the University.
PhD graduates will be granted a 3 year visa. You will be able to undertake or look for work at any salary or skill level and can even be self employed.
Ulster students can only apply after the University confirms successful course completions to the Home Office. Students will only be reported after Examination Board marks and decisions have been published.
All students who have met the criteria and have successfully completed their course of study will be reported to UKVI. You will be notified once this report has been made. You will then be able to make your GVR application. Unfortunately, as the GVR is a non-sponsored visa route we are not permitted to provide immigration advice on this route.
Further information regarding the GVR can also be found on the UKCISA & UKVI webpages.
Frequently asked questions
What are the eligible qualifications?
To be eligible for the Graduate Route, you must have successfully completed one of the following courses:
- An undergraduate degree
- A masters degree
- A PhD degree or other doctoral qualification
Or one of these qualifications:
- The Legal Practice Course in England and Wales, the Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland, or a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland.
- The Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland.
- A foundation programme in Medicine or Dentistry.
- A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).
- A professional course requiring study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above in a profession with reserved activities that is regulated by UK law or UK public authority.
Where and when can I apply?
You will be able to apply once the University have confirmed to the Home Office that you have officially passed your course.
Please ensure you have read all the instructions and meet al the criteria before you apply.
When do I have to return to the UK if I want to apply for the Graduate Route in 2022 or beyond?
If your course started at any time and is more than 12 months in duration, then any time that you spend outside the UK distance learning between 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021 will not prevent you meeting the Graduate route eligibility requirements.
In these circumstances, you must return to the UK and apply for the Graduate route before your Student visa/Tier 4 visa expires.
For example, you are an undergraduate student with a Tier 4/Student visa who entered the UK to start their programme in September 2019.
You then spent time outside the UK distance learning between 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021 and intend to successfully complete your course in June 2022.
Students who started their course between September 2021 and 30 June 2022, must have arrived in the UK by 30 June 2022, in order to be eligible for the Graduate route.
You must be in the UK and submit your application before your Student visa/Tier 4 visa expires.
When can I start to work?
While your Graduate route application is pending, you can continue to work under the conditions of your Student or Tier 4 permission.