The Graduate Route is a new UK post-study work visa which will be available starting in the summer of 2021 to any student holding a valid Tier 4 student visa. Students will have to apply for the Graduate Route before their Tier 4 visa expires.
Students are eligible if they are currently enrolled in a program or are set to start a program that finishes in summer 2021 or beyond. The new UK post-study work visa lasts for two years. During that time, graduates are free to work or look for work.
The Graduate Route is also available to students who begin their degrees online or remotely because of COVID-19 and who arrive in the United Kingdom before April 6, 2021 to complete a semester of study face-to-face at their university.
There is no cap on the number of students eligible for the Graduate Route. At the end of the two years, graduates with the new UK post-study work visa will either have to leave the UK or, if they have found a skilled job, shift to a different visa, such as the Tier 2 General Work visa.
As the UK transits out of the European Union, EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals are eligible to freely travel to the United Kingdom, study, and look for work - if they arrive before the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020 and apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme before June 30, 2021.
Graduates who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme will be free to look for work in the same way internationals applying for the Graduate Route will.
International students from EU/EEA nations or Switzerland coming to the UK after January 1st 2021 for a course longer than six months will have to apply under the new student route. Under that route students who meet the eligibility criteria for the Graduate Route will then be able to apply for an extended stay in the same way that non-EU/EEA citizens would.