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Applying for a Graduate Route Visa

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Applying for a Graduate Route Visa

The Graduate Route visa is now live. The Graduate Route visa is a new work visa route for graduates who have a degree or other relevant qualifications from an approved UK Higher Education provider. It will be like the old Tier 1 Post-Study Work route visa that ended in 2012. Most successful applicants will be granted two years. PhD graduates will be granted three years.


You must have received official confirmation of your final award before you complete and submit the online Graduate Route visa application.  You will receive an email from the University of Sunderland’s Student Administration team confirming when your final award has been reported to the Home Office.  This is when you can begin your Graduate Route visa application. 

The online application form is available on the Home Office website.  According to the Home Office's factsheet about the Graduate route, the application fee will be £700 per applicant. Nationals of the 26 European countries that come under the CESC agreement will have a £55 discount. You will pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) at £624 per year per applicant.

Applications can only be submitted in the UK. There will be no provision to apply from outside the UK. Your deadline to complete and submit your online Graduate Route visa application form is your current Tier 4 or Student visa expiry date.

Once you submit your visa application, you should not travel outside the UK until you have received your application decision. Your application will automatically be withdrawn if you leave the UK.

Your application does not need university sponsorship or endorsement from an employer.

International Student Support will not offer a 1:1 application service for the Graduate Route Visa. This visa route is not sponsored or endorsed by the University of Sunderland, unlike your previous Tier 4 and/or Student Route visa, and is therefore an independent application.

We will support with queries on eligibility requirements and provide information to assist you with the application process if required, which will be delivered via the Compass enquiry management portal.