News and Events

Good news: the Graduate visa is here to stay!

  • Posted

In a year where the Immigration rules have seen their biggest overhaul in many years, employers have been given some good news as the Migration Advisory Committee (“MAC”) have recommended that the Graduate visa route is retained in its current form within the UK’s immigration system.

The Graduate visa route was introduced to enhance the offering to international students considering completing their studies within the UK. It was intended as a measure to retain their talent within the UK following graduation, who in turn then contribute to the UK economy, and this increases the value of education exports.

The review conducted by MAC was clear: the route is achieving its objectives and should remain in its current form.

In 2023, over 114,000 Graduate visas were granted. Around 40% of these visas were granted to Indian nationals, and 91% of Graduate visa holders had completed a post-graduate course.

Following the review of the Immigration Rules which came into force in April this year, the minimum qualifying salary for a Skilled Worker Visa is (generally) at least £37,500 . Therefore, some employers are reliant on currently employing individuals with the required skills under Graduate Visas, where they cannot afford (on their current graduate salaries) to sponsor an individual in order for them to obtain a Skilled Worker Visa. This can be useful where an individual is likely to progress, and obtain further skills, over the duration of their Graduate Visa period, and later potentially qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa.

The outcome of the MAC review is therefore welcomed by the education sector and employers alike – allowing the UK to continue to attract, and retain, the best talent.