Isabela Santa Roza Dos Santos

UK Graduate Route is fantastic news for the sector


The Graduate Route announced last week, together with additional flexibility around on-campus start dates, has boosted the UK’s attractiveness as a study destination.

International degree students  who complete an undergraduate or Master’s degree can now live and work in the UK for up to 2 years, without the need to secure a job offer. There will also be no minimum salary requirements. PhD students will be able to stay for 3 years via the Graduate Route. 

Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International (UUKi) says:

“The UK lost ground in the period after 2012 following the closure of our post-study work route. Now post-study work is back and I think the UK is again right at the top of attractive destinations for international students.”

“I can remember a time when people used to argue about these things, but actually at the moment it feels like everyone wants the same thing, including the home office. It feels like government is behind us, and we are very pleased.”

Ross Porter is Associate Director Visa Compliance & Financial Aid at London Business School. He says the Graduate Route is fantastic news for the sector,

“This is a big catalyst that has reinvigorated markets which had previously been large but had somewhat shrunk. It’s a shot in the arm for interest from India which saw a massive decline after the post-study work route was closed in 2012. We expect this to reinvigorate that market and reopen opportunities.”

LBS students have been grateful for the Graduate Route option says Porter,

“It helps them fund their studies. Being able to seek work with a UK employer allows them to pay back money they potentially had to borrow for studies. It also gives them experience that they can take back with them.”

Students affected by Covid pandemic to benefit

The flexibility around start-dates, means students qualify for post-study work, even if they can’t begin their studies on campus. This means that those students who are unable to be on campus from the start of their programmes, due to the Covid pandemic, can still benefit.

This is especially welcome news for universities and the hundred thousand students from red list countries set to move to the UK over six to eight weeks in Autumn. Flexibility will help universities manage the flow of students into the country, without putting too much pressure on the system,

Students who arrive in the UK before their visa ends, or by 6 April 2022 still qualify for the Graduate Route, even if they need to start online and travel later or are not in class due to any mandatory quarantine requirements.

Rob van Schaijk, UKI Business Manager at Studyportals says

“It is great to see that it is being adapted to the current situation in the world. The newly added flexibility is great news for future students”.


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