Student Life International advisers are not able to offer advice and guidance relating to working visas or offer application support.

We can provide general information and answer basic questions about the Graduate Route and how it relates to your study at UEA. The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website is a good source of guidance regarding the Graduate Route.

A Graduate route visa enables international students, who have successfully completed an eligible Higher Education course in the UK, to remain in the UK for 2 or 3 years after completion. The route is not a sponsored route, and so does not require that you have secured employment in order to apply.

In order to be eligible to apply to the Graduate route, all of the following criteria must be met by an applicant:

  • You must be in the UK

  • You must hold a valid Student (or Tier 4 General Student) visa

  • You must have studied an eligible UK Higher Education course

  • You must have 'successfully completed' your course of study

You can only ever apply for one Graduate visa. If you complete another course in the future, you will not be able to apply for a second Graduate visa.

A Graduate visa lasts for 2 years, unless you have graduated with a PhD or other doctoral qualification, in which case it will last for 3 years. Your visa will start from the day that your application is approved.

You cannot extend your Graduate visa. If you wish to remain in the UK after your Graduate visa comes to an end, you would need to switch to a different visa route, such as the Skilled Worker route.

Being in the UK

You must apply to the Graduate route whilst in the UK on a valid Student visa. It is not possible to apply to this route from outside the country. You should also remain in the UK until a decision is made on your application and you receive your new visa. If you leave the UK before this, UKVI may withdraw your application automatically, and you may not receive a refund.

Study in the UK

You must have studied in the UK for a minimum period of the course for which you were last granted permission to study on the Student route (known as 'the relevant period'). The table below shows how long your relevant period is:

Total length of course Relevant period of Student permission granted during which all study took place in the UK
12 months or less Full duration of the course
Longer than 12 months At least 12 months


You must have held a Student visa during this relevant period. If you were studying with permission on a different immigration route, this time will not be counted towards the relevant period. For example, if you held a Skilled Worker Dependant visa when you started a 13 month course, and only held a Student visa for 8 months, you would not meet this eligibility criterion. It is acceptable to have left the UK for vacations outside of study during this time or undertaken an official Study Abroad placement as part of your degree.

Qualification Requirement

You must have successfully completed a course of study for which you have been, or will be, awarded a UK bachelor's degree, a UK postgraduate degree (Master's, PhD or other doctoral qualification), or one of the following listed qualifications:

  • a law conversion course, validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in England and Wales; or

  • the Legal Practice Course in England and Wales, the Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland, or a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland; or

  • the Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland; or

  • a foundation programme in Medicine or Dentistry; or

  • a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE); or

  • a professional course requiring study at UK bachelor’s degree level or above in a profession with reserved activities that is regulated by UK law or UK public authority.

Successful Completion

You must have successfully completed the course for which you were last granted Student immigration permission. This means, if you graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma instead of, for example, an MA/MSc, you would not be eligible for the Graduate route.

If you were allowed to change your course without applying for additional immigration permission, this requirement only applies to the course you were allowed to change to.

UEA must notify the Home Office of your successful completion before you make your Graduate route application. Student Visa Compliance notifies the Home Office after Awards Boards have met and your formal results have been confirmed. We cannot notify the Home Office when only 'provisional' results are available. For PGR students, you must have been included on the Pass List before your results can be confirmed.

I've been granted an extension on my coursework and my visa will expire before I get my results. Can I extend my Student visa so I can remain in the UK to receive results and apply to the Graduate route?

Unfortunately not. Universities are not permitted to provide a new CAS for this purpose. If you have completed all elements of your coursework before your Student visa expires, you are not eligible for further Student permission for your course.


I have reassessments that I have been told can be completed from outside the UK. Can I extend my Student visa so I will be eligible for the Graduate route?

No, the University is only permitted to issue CAS statements where it is necessary for students to enter, or remain in, the UK for educational purposes. Where studies can be completed outside the UK or where they have already been completed, UEA is not able to issue a CAS statement and continue sponsoring UK immigration permission. This is in reference to rules and guidance issued to Higher Education Providers by the Home Office.


Who can I talk to about whether I need to remain in the UK to complete my reassessments?

We would advise you speak with your School if you are unsure whether you need to remain in the UK to complete your reassessments.


I'm not eligible for the Graduate route but I want to work in the UK. Do I have any other options?

There are other work visa types available should you wish to explore these options. We cannot assist with these visa types, but you can find useful information on UKCISA’s webpage.