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UK Graduate Visa

One of the many benefits of studying in the UK is the Graduate Visa scheme,  allowing graduating international students to work for two years after they have completed their studies.

The Graduate Visa Scheme FAQs

What is the difference between the ‘Post-Study Work visa’ and the ‘Graduate visa’?

There is no difference between the two. The Graduate visa is the new name that the UKVI replaced the ‘Post-Study Work visa’ with.

What is the Graduate visa?

The Graduate visa allows international students completing an undergraduate degree or a Master’s degree at a qualifying institution to stay on in the UK to work, or look for work, for a fixed period of two years after they have completed their studies.

Do I have to apply for the Graduate visa?

Yes. The Graduate visa is not automatically given to students. You will have to submit a new visa application. You can only apply for this visa from within the UK, before the expiry of your current Student visa.

When should I apply for the Graduate visa?

You need to apply before your current Student visa expires. You don’t have to wait until you’ve graduated or received your degree. You can apply for the Graduate visa when:

– We have confirmed that you have successfully completed and passed the course for which your visa was granted.


– You have received an email from our Compliance Team to confirm that your successful completion has been reported to the UKVI.

Note: You must not apply for a Graduate visa before we have notified the UKVI of your successful course completion. If you apply too early, you are at risk of visa refusal.

How long can I stay in the UK on a Graduate visa?

If you’ve successfully completed one of our UG or PG courses, you can stay for two years.

If you want to stay longer, you’ll need to apply for a new visa, such as a Skilled Worker visa. You would not be able to extend your Graduate visa.

Does the Graduate visa cover my partner and/or my children?

Your partner and children can apply to stay in the UK as well; however, this does require a separate application and a fee for each dependent.

To be successful, they must already be in the UK with leave to remain as your dependant under your Student visa.

Please check the UK government’s guidelines and the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website for more information. You can also contact our Compliance Team if you need help finding the information that you need –

How much does the Graduate Visa application cost?

The application fee is £822.

You will also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which is currently £624 per year but will increase to £1,035 from 6 February 2024.

How long does it take?

The Graduate Visa UK Processing Time takes about 8 weeks. The processing time may take longer during busy periods.

My current Student visa is about to expire and I have not yet received a decision on my Graduate visa – what should I do?

As long as you applied for you Graduate visa prior to your current visa expiring, you are able to stay in the UK until a decision is made on your application.

Note: you will not benefit from the conditions of the Graduate route until the visa is granted. Until that point in time you must adhere to the conditions of your Student visa.

Can I work in the UK on a Graduate visa?

You can work in the UK on a graduate visa. You do not need a sponsoring employer and there is no minimum salary threshold (except the UK employer must pay you the national minimum wage) or minimum skill level. The Graduate visa is therefore a lot more flexible than the Skilled Worker visa. You don’t need a job offer before you can apply for the Graduate visa.

When can I start working under the conditions of the Graduate route?

You will not benefit from the conditions of the Graduate route until the visa is granted. Until that point in time you must adhere to the conditions of your Student visa

Can I use the Graduate visa for further studies?

The Graduate visa cannot be used to study a programme where a CAS could normally be issued. If you are planning to undertake further studies, you must seek professional advice on your options.

Where can I get advice outside of Bloomsbury Institute?

UKVI: Graduate visa information

UKCISA: Working after your studies

UKCISA: Graduate Route Presentation


Want to talk to someone about your visa?

UK immigration rules can seem complicated but we are here to help. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your options.

We’re here Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm (except bank holidays).

Useful resources for International Agents and students

How to apply for your UK Student Visa
Qualification verification process
Pearson qualification verification process
How to make an online application
Entry requirements and fees
The agent journey on CAS Shield
The student journey on CAS Shield
Graduate Visas

How international students apply to Bloomsbury in 6 easy steps

Step 1

Applicants select their course and complete the online application form. Our Admissions Team will review the application within one working day and make the applicant a conditional offer.

Step 2

The applicant (or their agent) will then need to upload scans of the following documents:

  • Academic Certificates and Transcripts
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • English Language qualification or test results
  • Letter of Recommendation (if details of a referee have not been provided in the application form)
  • Passport
  • Recent photograph
  • MBA students will also be required to provide proof of 2 years of supervisory/ managerial experience.
Step 3

Once documents are approved, applicants will then be made an unconditional offer.

The unconditional offer is subject to the verification of the applicants’ documents.

Step 4

Once all verification is complete, the applicant (or their agent if applicable) are provided with access to ‘CAS Shield’. This is where all visa compliance stages are completed before we can issue the applicant a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

Step 5

Applicants will be asked to complete an online enrolment form; this confirms that they intend to study with us and allows us to issue thier CAS. The CAS can then then be used to apply for a Student Visa through the UKVI website.

Step 6

We will send the applicant a date and time to attend Enrolment and Induction at our London campus; this usually takes place the week before term starts.