The new Graduate Route will open for applications on 1 July 2021, allowing the UK to retain the brightest and best international students to continue contributing to post-study society and the economy.
International students must have completed an eligible course at the UK Higher Education Provider, with a track record of the government’s immigration requirements required to apply to the Graduate Route. Students on the Graduate Route will be able to work or seek work after their studies for a maximum period of 2 years or 3 years for doctoral students.
The launch of the new Graduate Route shows that the government continues to deliver on its key promise to implement a point-based immigration system that will attract talent and ensure that businesses can recruit the most highly qualified from around the globe to drive the economy forward.
The Graduate Route will work for all corners of the United Kingdom to ensure that communities in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland can benefit from talented individuals who want to stay after their studies.
Minister of Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said:
“As we rebuild from the global pandemic, we want the world’s brightest talent, who aspire to a career at the highest levels of business, science, the arts, and technology to see our United Kingdom as the natural place to fulfill their aspirations.”
“The changes announced today will ensure once they have received a gold standard qualification from one of our world leading education institutions, they can easily secure the status they need to continue living, working, and fulfilling their dreams in the UK.”
As detailed in the Immigration Rules laid down in Parliament yesterday (4 March), a new route will be opened for applications by 1 July 2021 for international students who have successfully completed a degree at or above the undergraduate level in the United Kingdom.
The Graduate Route will not be sponsored, meaning that applicants will not need a job offer to apply for the Route. There will be no minimum wage requirements or number caps. Graduates on the route will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs, and develop their careers as required.
The new route will help the government to achieve the ambition set out in the International Education Strategy to increase the number of international higher education students in the UK to 600,000 by 2030.
Coronavirus concessions for students unable to travel to the United Kingdom due to a pandemic have also been extended, recognizing the continued disruption of many faces due to international travel restrictions.
Applicants who began their studies in the autumn of 2020 will have until 21 June 2021 to enter the United Kingdom (updated from 6 April 2021) in order to qualify for the Graduate Route. Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will have to be in the United Kingdom by 27 September 2021.
The Graduate Route comes as the government has also unveiled plans to launch another new immigration route that will help start-ups and fast-growing firms to recruit the talent they need to innovate and grow in the budget of yesterday as part of a range of measures for highly skilled migrants. As part of the route, highly qualified migrants with a job offer from a recognized high-growth firm will be eligible for a visa without the need for sponsorship or third-party endorsement.
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