Skip to main content

The importance of preparing graduate visa applications carefully and thoroughly

The Graduate Visa is for international students who have completed an eligible course of study at UK bachelor’s degree-level or above who want to work, or look for work, following the successful completion of their higher education. The study course must be with a recognised higher education provider and be fully compliant in order for an application to be started; a successful application will enable a student to remain in the UK for two further years, or three years for those who have completed a PhD degree or other doctoral qualification.

What are the requirements for starting a Graduate Visa application?

  •  You will have successfully completed a UK degree or another qualifying course of study with an approved higher education licensed sponsor with a track record of success.
  • You will have completed the required minimum period of study in the UK and the sponsored course provider has confirmed completion with the Home Office.
  • You have permission under Student route/Tier 4 permission at the time of the application
  • You do not fall for refusal under the general grounds of suitability.
  • You have not previously been granted permission under the Doctorate Extension Scheme or as a Graduate.

What type of work is permitted with a Graduate Visa?

  • A successful application permits you to undertake any kind of work on an employed and self-employed basis and even allows you to start your own business.
  • Voluntary work is also permitted with a Graduate Visa.
  • There are no minimum or maximum numbers of hours that must be worked nor are you restricted to one employer.
  • The only restriction is that a Graduate Visa holder cannot work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.

Am I obliged to work under as a Graduate Visa holder?

  • No. This visa is designed to allow students who have completed a UK degree qualification (or higher) to look for or undertake work.
  • There are no conditions which state you must find employment.

Are my dependents allowed to work?

  • People who are granted leave as dependants of a Graduate Visa holder are allowed to work in the UK adhering to the restriction of not working as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
  • Any dependent already in the UK who has permission to stay is able to switch to Graduate dependent status at the same time that the Graduate Visa is applied for.

What happens if I don’t find a job?

  • As above, there is no condition attached to finding employment with a Graduate Visa.
  • It is not possible to extend a Graduate Visa so at the end of your two or three year term, you will have to leave the UK or undertake a different immigration route.
  • The Graduate Visa does not lead to settlement.

Here at Arlingsworth Solicitors, we understand just how important it is that Graduate Visa applications submitted to the Home Office are prepared diligently. We specialise in advising clients on all aspects of their visa applications and our dedicated team of experts are on hand 24/7 to provide specialist advice and guidance.

Please contact our Brighton office on: +44 (0) 1273 696962 or our London office on: +44 (0) 203 358 0058. Alternatively, request a callback, or email You can also follow us on social media for any other important news and updates.