On 1 July 2021, the Home Office introduced a new Graduate visa route for the UK. This route is for those overseas students who have completed a qualifying course from a recognised UK university and will allow them to live and work in the UK for at least two years. There are a number of eligibility criteria and these include the applicant already being in the UK and holding a Student visa and also having successfully completed a qualifying degree course from a recognised UK university.
There are a number of advantages for employers with the introduction of this new route. Employers may employ Graduate visa holders in the UK without needing to obtain a Home Office Sponsor Licence and go through the comprehensive sponsor licensing criteria. However, once the applicant has been in the UK for a period of two years, then subject to meeting the qualifying criteria at the time of application, they may be able to switch rom within the UK to a Skilled Worker visa in order to continue their ability to work in the UK but at that stage, they will need to be working for a Home Office licensed employer. Many businesses will welcome the introduction of this new visa route although arguably, it is simply a replacement of a similar route which the Home Office previously had in place and which was called the Tier 1 (Post Study) visa. The Home Office position is that UK employers should now be able to hire the brightest graduates and talent from overseas.