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Developing a UK Career

Graduate Visa

The new Graduate route was launched in the UK on 1st July 2021 and the visa lasts for two years for (most) graduates and three years for Doctoral students. The route is unsponsored and therefore you do not need a job offer to apply for the scheme. The route is open to those that have completed their undergraduate degree or above and have a valid Tier 4 or student visa at the time of applications. The visa will allow you to:

  •      Work and secure employment in most roles in the UK
  •         Apply for roles regardless of skill level or salary
  •         Work on a self-employed basis or undertake voluntary work
  •         Return to the UK if you travel abroad
  •         To switch jobs and work flexibly whilst developing your career in the UK

Please note that the graduate route will not allow you to apply for most UK benefits, state pension or to work as a professional sportsperson.

Full details on the Graduate Visa

Skilled Worker Visa

This replaced the Tier 2 visa in December 2020. This route provides you with options for finding and applying for graduate options that require a longer stay, including some graduate schemes. 

The main features are:

  • There is no resident labour market test
  • The employer must sponsor the employee. See the Register of Licensed Sponsors: Workers
  • The level of pay must be above £20,800
  • The job must require a particular skill set (although most graduate schemes will meet this)

If you are uncertain as to which employers in your area of work are sponsors (or if you have to apply through recruitment agencies) then please discuss your circumstances with your University Careers Advisers, International Office staff, or Student Support Services

Find further information about this visa option.

Skilled worker visa- key facts

 Innovator Visa

This replaced the old Tier 1 Entrepreneur route and is aimed at experienced businesspeople seeking to establish an innovative business in the UK

Innovator visas last for three years and start-up visas last for two. A start-up visa can be switched to an innovator visa once the applicant’s business is active and has been endorsed by an authorised body.

Explore further information on this option.

Start-up Visa

This is aimed at people, including those with Tier 4 Student and Graduate Visa permissions.  It is offered to those who wish to establish a business in the UK, and who have a business plan endorsed by a Home Office-approved endorsing body. It replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur route. 

The Start-up route has a broader remit than the old Graduate Entrepreneur scheme. 

Explore the  Home Office website for the Start-up Route