It has been a year like no other for many foreign students in the UK. Lockdowns have caused a lot of disruptions for UK graduates. Classes have been cancelled, many have had to return home and others have suffered from a lot of anxiety due to the uncertain circumstances. But now, there could be light at the end of tunnel – in the form of the Graduate Route Visa 2021.
The much anticipated graduate visa is now open for applications from 01 July 2021.
The key thing about this visa is: if you want to stay on in the UK after your studies legally, you can do that now. This visa is a 2-year scheme, announced by the UK government to welcome foreign students to the UK so they can stay on after completing their bachelors, master’s or Phd degrees.
If you have completed your PhD, the visa gives you the chance to stay on in the country, for three years. You should have of course, completed the course you enrolled for and have studied at a recognised institution.
But remember you need to be in the UK to be able to apply for this visa. You cannot make the application from abroad. Also, you will have to pay a fee for the visa and a surcharge for the use of the National Health Service (NHS).
The fees you can expect to pay for these are: Fee amounts to £700 and the Immigration Health Surcharge at the full rate of £624 per year.
If you are enrolled on a course and you have gone back to your home country and attend your classes online, all is not lost. The UK government has said that you can make an application for the visa, as long as you are back in the country before June 21.
In case you started your course in January 2021, you can come back to the UK by 27 September 2021 to make your application.