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Alternatives if you are not eligible for the Graduate Route Visa

By QMAdvice 10 Nov 2021

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You must meet all of the eligibility criteria to be eligible for the Graduate Route (Post Study Work) visa, including having successfully completed your course whilst you still hold Student permission. You can only apply inside the UK.

If you won't meet the eligibility requirements, for example because your results will be released after your Student permission expires and you are not eligible to extend your Student permission, here are some alternatives can look into:

Skilled Worker Route

Under the Skilled Worker Route, you would be sponsored by an employer to do a specific job. Your job would need to meet the minimum salary requirement and the job would need to be at the appropriate skill level. If the employer agrees to sponsor you, they would issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) number. You can apply as soon as you meet the requirements See our web pages for further information. 

If you have questions about applying for the Skilled Worker Route, your employer would be best placed to advise

Youth Mobility Scheme

The Youth Mobility Scheme allows certain nationalities who meet the eligibility requirements to work in the UK for up to 2 years.

The nationalities are currently: Australia, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, British overseas citizenBritish overseas territories citizen or British national (overseas). The process varies depending on your nationality.

From 1 January 2022, India and Iceland are due to be added to the list.

You must be aged 18-30 on the date of application and the application can only be made outside the UK. There are a limited number of places, depending on your nationality.

More information, including the full eligibility requirements, is on the UK government website.

Start up or Innovator Routes

If you want to start your own business in the UK, and have a business idea which is innovative, viable and has potential to scale, you may be able to apply for an endorsement under the Start-up Route.

If you have a business idea and sufficient investment funding for the business, you can look into the Innovator Route.

Health and Care Worker Visa

If you are a medical professional working in an eligible job within the NHS, look into whether you may be able to apply for the Health and Care Worker Visa.

Other working visas

There are other working visas for which you may be eligible to apply, depending on your specific circumstances, e.g. the actual job you will be undertaking or your nationality and previous residence in the UK. For some categories you will need to apply outside the UK. See the different categories of working visas on the UK government web pages.

Family members

You could also be eligible to stay in the UK on the basis of a family member, e.g. if you are married to a British Citizen or someone who has Settled Status in the UK. Check eligible categories on the UK government web pages.

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