May 24, 2024


Thousands of Indian students planning to study in the UK this year have a reason to cheer. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended keeping the graduate route work visa, also known as the post-study work (PSW) visa, in its current form. The UK Graduate Route Visa is a post-study work visa introduced in July 2021. It specifically targets international students who have recently graduated from a UK university. This decision provides stability and opportunities for students from India, who make up a significant portion of those utilising this visa.


Let’s break this down to help you understand:


What is the Graduate Route Visa?


The graduate route visa allows international students to work in the UK for two years after graduating from a British university, including top institutions like Oxford and Cambridge, as well as others like Sussex and SOAS. This visa offers a critical pathway for students to gain work experience and potentially transition to more permanent work visas.


Benefits for Indian students:


Work in the UK: This visa allows Indian graduates to stay and work in the UK for up to two years (or three years for PhD graduates) after completing their studies. This provides valuable work experience to enhance their resumes and potentially lead to permanent residency opportunities.


No sponsorship required: Unlike some other work visas, the Graduate Route doesn’t require sponsorship from a specific employer. This gives Indian graduates the freedom to explore different career options and switch jobs if needed.


Work in any sector: There are no restrictions on the type of work Indian graduates can pursue with this visa. This allows them to find employment in a field relevant to their studies or explore other areas of interest.


Key statistics


Graduate Route visas issued: 114,000 in 2023


Dependants: 30,000 visas


Top nationalities: India (42%), Nigeria, China, Pakistan


Most common degree: Taught Master’s degree


Non-Russell Group Universities: 66% of visas

First Published: May 15 2024 | 11:06 AM IST