Graduate Route

Below you will find an overview of the visa and useful links to more information.

What is a Graduate Route visa?

The Graduate Route visa is a new 2 year (3 year for PhD students) work visa open to applications from 1st July 2021. The visa permits you to work or look for work in the UK. It is only for those who have a degree or other relevant qualification from an approved UK Higher Education provider, such as The University of Liverpool. 

As this visa has not yet started there is not yet full guidance from the UK Home Office, however there is a factsheet published on 4th March 2021 and we  have listed below the informaiton we currently have. 

The UK Council for International Student Affairs also has very useful information on their webpage here.  

How do I qualify?

You must have been awarded a relevant qualification, which at The University of Liverpool are: 

  • an undergradaute degree
  • a Masters degree
  • a PhD degree 

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, many students are studying online/blended learning during the 2020-21 academic year and are outside the UK. Students will still be eligible for the graduate route visa as long as they are able to meet one of the following situations, which the UK government have confirmed in guidance here (paragraph 3.20 onwards):

  • Students on a course longer than 12 months, for example bachelors students (in any year of study), or 2 year masters students, will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021. If you are due to graduate in summer 2021 and wish to apply for the Graduate route visa, you will need to enter the UK using the Tier 4/Student visa that you hold and apply for the Graduate route visa from within the UK before your Student visa expires.
  • Students who started a one-year Masters in Sep/Oct/Nov 2020 and are completing their course in summer 2021, will need to enter the UK on a 'Student' visa on or before 21 June 2021, this is a recent change of an earlier date of 6th April 2021.
  • Students who started a one-year Masters programme in January or February 2021 will need to enter the UK on a 'Student' visa before 27 September 2021 and complete the final semester of their studies in the UK.
  • Students who are studying courses lasting longer than a year who are not due to complete in 2021, and who have studied all or part of the 2020/21 academic year via distance learning will still be eligible for the graduate route; this is because there is an expectation you will be required to recommence in-person learning during the 2021-22 academic year. You will need to hold a 'Student' visa whilst completing your studies. 

When and where can I apply?   

You must hold a valid Tier 4 / Student visa and have completed the qualifying qualification whilst holding that visa.

You must apply inside the UK.

Undergraduate and Postgraduate taught students- You will only be eligible to apply after your graduation and after the University informs you that confirmation has been given directly to the UK Home Office confirming your eligibilty. Do not apply before you have been informed by the University as this could result in your application being refused.

PhD students - You will only be eligible to apply after submission of your final thesis and after the academic board has met and confirmed the award of your PhD. The University will inform you that confirmation has been given directly to the UK Home Office confirming your eligibilty for the visa. If your Tier 4/Student visa will expire prior to the PhD award being made you will not be eligible for the Graduate route visa. Do not apply before you have been informed by the University as this could result in your application being refused.


Applications will be made online through the UK government website. 

What documents do I need?   

  • Your current passport
  • Your BRP card
  • Your previous CAS number
  • If your full tuition fees and living costs have been paid by a government and/or an international scholarship agency within the 12-month period before you apply, you must provide a letter showing the financial sponsor's consent to this application under the Graduate route. Students who received partial financial support or financial support from The University of Liverpool do not require consent. 
  • Your Police Registration Certificate (if applicable)

How much does it cost?

The application fee will be £700 and an Immigration Health Surcharge fee of £624 per 12 months of visa granted will need to be paid. 

Further Information

We will update this webpage as soon as we have further information. 

The International Advice & Guidance team will deliver a presentation (likely in June 2021) when further specific details have been published by the UK Home Office, please check our Presentations and Workshops webpage for details.  

The UK Council for International Student Affairs has very useful information on their webpage here and delivered a very useful presentation for students on 25th March 2021 which you can view online here.