With effect from summer 2021, the current Tier 4 route will close and a new graduate route will be launched. This will allow those who have completed a degree at a UK Higher Education Provider, that has track record of compliance, to stay in the UK for two years (three years for PhD graduates) and work at any skill level, and to switch into work routes if they find a suitable job.
The new student visa route will be based on points where you will be required to earn 70 points to be granted leave to remain in the UK. You are able to apply for a student visa up to 6 months prior to the start of the course.
Higher Education Providers (HEP) will be able to make an offer of study to students at degree level and above and carry out their own assessment of those students academic ability. Where this has been carried out, you will not be required to provide academic qualifications with your application.
Sponsors are required to monitor the academic engagement of their students, and they will need to keep a record of their students engagement. Sponsors of higher education will be able to self assess academic and English language ability.
In order to apply you have to demonstrate that you have an unconditional offer from a sponsoring institution and that you genuinely intend to study and can meet the relevant requirements of the route.
You are able to apply to bring your dependents to the UK with you, if you are studying at a postgraduate level for at least 9 months at a HEP. You will have to show your sponsorship ad have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
Sponsors are only able to sponsor if they are a HEP, publicly funded college, independent school, private further education provider or overseas Higher Education Institution. Sponsors are also required to maintain Education Oversight and pass yearly Basic Compliance Assessment.
With effect from Summer 2021, the Graduate visa route will enable international students the opportunity to stay in the UK to work or look for work after they graduate. Undergraduate and master’s degree students will be able to stay for two years under this route and PhD students will be able to stay for three years. Graduates will be able to switch into other routes in line with the wider approach to switching when applying for leave inside the UK. This will include the ability to switch into work routes if they are able to meet the requirements. All successful applicants will be granted a one-time non-extendable leave period of two years if graduating at undergraduate or masters level, or three years if graduating with PhD, on this route will be able to work or look for work at any skill level during this period. This route is also points based.
The graduate route will be open to international students, who have a valid Tier 4 (general) student visa or are here as a student at the time of application and have successfully completed a degree at the undergraduate level or above at a UK Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance during that grant of leave.
Graduates on this route are restricted from being employed as a professional sportsperson, a doctor or a dentist in training.