The graduate route goes live on 01 July, offering Students an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in the UK. In advance of its launch, we look at a few of the most – and least – attractive aspects of this new scheme:
1. Sponsorship is not required…
The Graduate route is a non-sponsored category, meaning it is quicker and easier for both individuals and employers compared with the sponsored Skilled Worker option. While the employee may eventually require sponsorship to remain in the UK, this is not essential at recruitment stage.
2. …but the route does not lead to settlement.
While it is easier to secure permission under the Graduate route than under Skilled Worker, time spent in the UK as a Graduate will not count towards settlement.
3. Existing dependants can be included…
Where family members are already in the UK as dependants of a Student, they can remain joined with their sponsor as the Student transitions to the Graduate route.
4. …however new dependants are not permitted.
A child born to a Graduate and their dependant partner will be able to secure status in the UK, but other family members cannot be admitted.
5. The Home Office has been flexible for Students who have been affected by Covid-19…
Students whose studies began in autumn 2020 now have until 27 September 2021 to enter the UK (updated from the previous date of 21 June 2021) to be eligible to apply to the Graduate route. Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will need arrive by this date also.
6. …but the route is still selective over who to include.
The route is only open to Students who have been successful studying for a degree at bachelor's or post-graduate level, or those who have completed one of the listed professional courses. The route is also not available to all previous students in the UK, only those who still have (or have last had) Student status. This means a Student who has already transitioned to Skilled Work or another category cannot apply to the Graduate route.