Hyderabad: The United Kingdom (UK) government has confirmed that the graduate route will open for applications on July 1, 2021.
The new route will be open to students from other countries including India. Students who have completed bachelors or doctoral level in the UK are eligible.
The successful applicants on this route at bachelor's or master's level will be able to stay in the UK and work or look for work, at any skill level for two years. Doctoral students will be able to stay for three years.
Graduates will be able to apply for the Skilled Worker route from within the UK once they find a suitable job.
The UK government has granted concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic. Applicants, who started their academic session in autumn 2020 have until June 21 2021 to enter the UK with permission as a student (updated from the previous date of 6 April 2021) in order to be eligible to apply for the Graduate route. Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will need to be in the UK by September 27, 2021.
"The launch of the new Graduate route shows that the government is continuing to deliver on its key manifesto promise to implement a points-based immigration system, which will attract talent and ensure that businesses can recruit the most highly qualified from across the globe to drive the economy forwards," said the UK government in a statement.
With Graduate route, international students will be able to work in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Graduate route will be unsponsored, meaning applicants will not need a job offer to apply for the route.
There will neither be minimum salary requirements nor caps on numbers. 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 students in higher education in the UK to 600,000 by 2030.
The Graduate route will require a new visa application, which will only be possible from inside the UK. It will include the payment of a visa fee of £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge at the full rate of £624 per year. Students will also need to know the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) they used for their most recent Student (or Tier 4) application in order to apply for the Graduate route.
The route is non-extendable and does not count towards settlement. However, graduates who find an appropriate job and meet the requirements will be able to apply for work routes including the Skilled Worker, which is a route to settlement.