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New Graduate Immigration Route

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New Graduate Immigration Route to be introduced in summer 2021

The UK Government will be introducing a new Graduate Immigration Route, which is expected to be open to apply to from summer 2021. This new route will allow eligible graduates to remain in the UK to work, or look for work, for two years after completing their course.


Full details and immigration rules of the new scheme are not yet available and are likely to be updated on the Home Office website closer to when the route is introduced in summer 2021.

This page includes the information that has been shared about the new Graduate Immigration Route so far, as well as information about how you can make the most of your Essex degree to prepare to work in the UK after graduating. Details of the new route are subject to confirmation and may change before the route is introduced.

Graduate Immigration Route

Tier 4 sponsored students who have completed a course in the UK at degree level and above will be eligible to apply for the new immigration route. The application must be made from the UK while staying here on a valid Tier 4 (General) visa once the course is completed - those who graduate and whose Tier 4 leave expires before the route is introduced will not be eligible to apply.

We expect there to be no minimum income threshold for the scheme. The maximum period you can stay in the UK under the Graduate Immigration Route visa is two years; however, graduates may be able to switch to another work category route to pursue skilled work if they find a suitable job. Further information about application requirements and Graduate Immigration Route conditions will be published by the Home Office in due course. In the meanwhile there is a fact sheet provided by the Home Office, and the immigration pages on our website will be updated with additional information once this is confirmed by the government.

Preparing for career success

While studying at Essex, you'll have access to our Student Development Team, which includes careers advice and preparation, and practical volunteering and paid work experience opportunities. Your ability to take on volunteering or work opportunities, paid or unpaid, will depend on the conditions of your Tier 4 visa. You'll also be able to attend on-campus careers fairs to meet potential graduate employers and get the opportunity to be mentored by an industry professional through the Career Mentoring programme.

By gaining work experience and perfecting your application technique before you graduate, you'll be well placed to secure a job at the end of your studies to stay and work in the UK under the new immigration route. With access to job listings resources, summer placements exclusive to Essex students, placement year opportunities as part of your course and much more, we're giving you great resources to graduate career-ready. You'll also be able to access careers support after you graduate.

Our campuses are located close to London with great transport links, so you'll be able to access opportunities in London and further afield as well as around the local area.

Visit our Careers pages to find out more about the support and resources available.