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After you Graduate

As your course comes to an end you should start thinking about your plans for after your studies, whether these involve further study, work in the UK or leaving the UK. Whatever your decision is, you should start making the arrangements as soon as possible. You should make sure that you are aware of the expiry date of your visa; you must leave the UK or, if remaining in the UK, make a valid visa application before the expiry date of your current visa.  

The Graduate Immigration Route (GIR) is a post-study visa route for those students who have successfully completed the Degree (and certain limited lower level qualifications) for which their Tier 4 or Student visa was granted.

The key requirements for this visa are that applicants have successfully completed an eligible UK course. The relevant course must be either:

  • a UK Undergraduate degree
  • a UK Masters degree
  • a UK PhD degree or other doctoral qualification
  • or one of the qualifications listed in paragraph GR 5.2 of Appendix Graduate of the immigration rules.


You must have studied in the UK on a sponsored visa for the required time and be in the UK on a valid Tier 4/Student Route visa at the time of application. Successful applicants will receive leave for two years under the GIR or three years for PhD graduates.


Students will not be prevented from being eligible for the GIR because of any distance-blended learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24th January 2020 and 30th June 2022. For further reading and updates, see the UKCISA webpages for the Graduate Immigration Route.


As your sponsor, we will inform the Home Office when you successfully complete your course. You will then receive an email from us when we have reported your completion to the Home Office, this email will also include your previous CAS number which you will need for your visa application. You must read the GIR guidance to ensure that you are eligible for the visa before applying. Applications must be made from inside the UK and must be made after receiving the formal confirmation of results and before the expiry date of your student visa.


Northumbria University reports students who have completed an eligible Programme, the decision to grant the visa is made by the UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) and any complaints regarding refusals should be made to the UKVI.


If you have completed your programme (received your formal results) and have not received this email more than 10 working days before your visa expiry date please contact us.


Students who do not complete their course at the expected time may not meet the eligibility criteria for the route.  Student / Tier 4 permission includes a wrap-up time after the end date of the course. This normally allows enough time to receive your results and apply under the Graduate route. However, in some situations your student Route/Tier 4 visa may expire before you receive your results, for example, if you have referred or deferred your studies or have re-sits, in this case you may not be eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route.

Any students who are thinking of making a FLR/Fee Waiver application in order to remain in the UK to await results must speak with a Welfare, Immigration and Funding adviser first as these applications may have an impact on making a GIR application.


If you are required to repeat part of your course in attendance you may qualify for a new CAS to extend your visa. If you are repeating part of your studies with attendance, please complete a CAS eligibility request form. If you are repeating/resubmitting with no attendance you may need to return to your home country to complete your studies remotely.


Please note that Northumbria University will not issue a CAS solely for the purpose of GIR eligibility.


All Graduate Route visa information is subject to change without warning or notification from the Home Office. The information provided via this website is in compliance with the current Home Office guidance. 


If you do need to return to your home country to complete your programme and after successful completion you wish to return to the UK to start employment, you may qualify for alternative immigration routes such as the Skilled Worker Route where you can apply from outside the UK.


If you require further information on the Graduate Immigration Route please contact a member of the Welfare, Immigration and Funding Team (WIFT) by submitting an enquiry through the Student Portal and a member of staff will contact you in due course. 

If you are leaving the UK once your studies have finished you should start to think about the practical arrangements that you need to make.

If you have a Tier 4 or Student Route visa, your visa should extend past your course completion date. You are normally eligible to work in the UK during this additional leave, however you may lose this right if you don’t complete your course. You can find information on working on your Tier 4/Student Route visa on the UKCISA webpages

If you wish to remain in the UK to work full time past the expiry date of your student visa you will need to apply for new immigration permission to do so. Information on the types of working visas to consider can be found here.


Start Up Route

The Start-up Route is aimed at people who wish to establish a business in the UK and meet the eligibility criteria. 


Northumbria University has applied to become a legacy endorsing body for the Start Up route and can no longer accept new applications. As a legacy sponsor we can maintain our existing endorsements and further endorse those you have already endorsed previously for extension and settlement applications. Students who have a current endorsement can contact the Student and Graduate Enterprise Team for further information.

If you wish to apply for a new course at Northumbria University after your graduate, you need to do so via University’s website. You need to meet admissions requirements of the new course and receive new CAS for your new programme. 

Visa application process differs for applications made outside the UK and inside the UK. Depending on where you will be submitting your new Student visa application, please see guidance on the Immigration hub in Applying for your visa inside the UK or Applying for your visa outside the UK sections.



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