Unlock UK’s Graduate Route: Comprehensive Guide to Appendix Graduate

UK Immigration Blog

Unlocking the UK’s Graduate Route can be a daunting task for many international students. The Graduate Route, also known as Appendix Graduate, is a new UK immigration route that allows international students to stay in the UK to work or look for work after they have completed their studies. This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with all the necessary information to navigate the Appendix Graduate successfully.

Understanding the Graduate Route

The Graduate Route is a post-study work visa that was launched by the UK government on July 1, 2021. It is designed to attract international students to the UK and retain them after graduation. The route is open to all international students who have a valid student visa and have successfully completed a course of study at a UK higher education provider.

Eligibility Criteria for the Graduate Route

To be eligible for the Graduate Route, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have successfully completed a course of study at undergraduate (RQF 6) level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance, and the course must have lasted a minimum of 12 months.
  • Have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application.
  • Have studied in the UK for at least 12 months.
  • Apply from within the UK.

Benefits of the Graduate Route

The Graduate Route offers several benefits to international students, including:

  • It allows students to stay in the UK for two years (or three years for PhD students) after they have completed their studies.
  • It provides an opportunity to gain work experience in the UK without needing a sponsor.
  • It offers flexibility as there are no restrictions on the type of work, and there is no minimum salary requirement.
  • It can lead to further opportunities to stay in the UK, such as switching to a Skilled Worker visa.

Application Process for the Graduate Route

The application process for the Graduate Route is straightforward. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Check your eligibility: Make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria before you apply.
  2. Prepare your documents: You will need your passport, proof of completion of your course, and your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
  3. Apply online: The application must be made online on the UK government’s official website.
  4. Pay the visa fee: The visa fee is currently £700, and you will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.
  5. Get a decision: You will usually get a decision within eight weeks.

Important Points to Remember

While the Graduate Route offers a great opportunity for international students, there are a few important points to remember:

  • The Graduate Route visa cannot be extended. However, you can switch to another immigration route if you meet the eligibility criteria.
  • You cannot apply for the Graduate Route if you have previously been granted immigration permission under the Doctorate Extension Scheme.
  • You cannot bring dependents unless they are already in the UK and they were last granted permission as your dependent.


The Graduate Route, or Appendix Graduate, is a fantastic opportunity for international students to gain valuable work experience in the UK. By understanding the eligibility criteria, benefits, and application process, you can unlock the potential of this route and take the first step towards building a successful career in the UK.

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Teresa Aldridge
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VisaHelpUK - UK Immigration and Visa Application Advice Service
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