Passport stamps

Graduate visa

Work in the UK after you study

Graduate visa

With a Graduate visa, you can stay in the UK to work, or look for work, for up to 2 years (or 3 years if you’ve completed a PhD) after you graduate, without the pressure of having to secure a job immediately. It gives you an opportunity to apply your skills, make new connections and advance your career with valuable local experience.

Once you've received your visa, you can search for a job or start to work immediately – including starting your own business or volunteering. Although it's non-extendable, you can apply for a different visa before it expires (e.g., a Skilled worker visa) to continue working in the UK.


You must complete an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at a UK university, such as Regent’s, and still have a valid Student visa at the time of applying.

You must apply from inside the UK. If you're overseas, there may be a deadline by which you need to return to the UK before applying. Get in touch for more information.

How to apply

For most, the application process is entirely digital. You’ll submit an online application form and use an app on your phone to prove your identity. 

Refer to this guide for more information.

Documents required

  • Your passport (with one free page for your visa)
  • The CAS number you used for your for your Student visa (we can provide this)
  • A letter from your financial sponsor, if you’ve been sponsored within 12 months
  • There may be more, depending on your individual circumstances

There’s no financial requirement, which means you won't need to demonstrate that you have a minimum amount of money available in your account in order to apply.


The visa application fee is currently £822. You’ll also need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge to access the National Health Service (NHS). This will cost you £1,035 per year.


Will I be able to extend my Graduate visa?

No – this is a non-extendable visa – you can only obtain it once. You can however apply for a different visa before your Graduate visa expires. For example, a Skilled worker visa, if your employer wishes to sponsor you.

Can I apply if I am completing my course on a Visitor visa?

Unfortunately not – you can only apply for the Graduate visa if your most recent visa is a Student visa and is still valid at the date of application.

Can I apply if I don't complete my course?

No – you must complete your course successfully. Only then can you apply.

How will UKVI know that I've completed my course?

We are required to confirm this to the UKVI in order for you to be eligible.

Can I apply for this visa if I've changed my course?

Yes – as long as you successfully complete your new course.

My visa expires before I complete my course – can I still apply?

If your current Student visa expires before your course is completed (for example, if you have to re-sit an exam), please contact us for guidance. You must complete your course before applying and you must have a valid Student visa at the time of application.

Do I need a sponsor to apply?

No – you don't need a sponsor or a job offer to apply. This visa allows you to stay in the UK and look for work if you don't have a job at the time of applying.

Will there be a cap on my working allowance? 

Unlike the Student visa, the Graduate visa will not specify the number of hours you can work each week. It also allows you to work at any skill level, including self-employment and voluntary work – although you aren't permitted to work as a professional sportsperson.

Can I study on the Graduate visa?

You can undertake some study. However, if you wish to utilise a Student visa sponsor, you'll need to apply for another Student visa instead.

Can I apply if I've had a retake or resit?

Retakes and resits do affect your eligibility, since they might change your original course end date. For guidance, please contact us.