Compare UK Graduate Route and Skilled Worker route

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graduate visa

The United Kingdom is an epicentre of world’s leading education and research. The newly launched Graduate route has added a feather to its cap by providing and opening new doors to post-study work opportunities for International students.

The Graduate visa route is a part points-based immigration system that is sure to help the best and brightest talents to begin their work career in the UK after completing their graduate studies.

UK Graduate Route and Skilled Worker route: Eligibility, documentation and benefits

  1. Eligibility for a UK Graduate visa

To apply for a Graduate visa all of the following conditions must be true: 

  • You live  in the UK
  • your current visa is a Student visa 
  • you studied a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or other course with your Student visa 
  • You have  completed that course
  1. Eligibility for a Skilled worker visa

For a successful application, you must fulfil the following conditions

  • You need to work for a licensed UK employer that been approved by the Home Office
  • You have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with the details about the role 
  • Your job is listed list in the eligible occupations
  • Your employer will pay a minimum threshold salary – depending  on the type of job role
  • You must evidence that you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1  

How long can you stay in the UK with a Graduate visa and a skilled worker visa?

The Graduate route allows you to stay and work in the UK for 2 years, on a UK bachelor’s degree and 3 years if you have a PhD. The graduate visa is non-extendable, you won’t be able to switch to another visa route. 

However, if you take the skilled worker route you will be able to stay in the UK for 5 years and extend your visa as many times as possible.

Documentation needed for a UK Graduate and a skilled worker visa

The documents needed to complete the online visa application for both Graduate and a skiller worker visa are pretty much the same except a few 

You will be required to show the following documents for a skilled worker visa

  1. A valid passport to confirm your identity and nationality
  2. A Biometric Residence Permit
  3. Certificate of sponsorship reference number
  4. Details of job role and annual salary
  5. Job occupation code
  6. Proof of English language proficiency

For a Graduate visa you need the following documents

  1. A valid passport to confirm your identity and nationality
  2. A Biometric Residence Permit
  3. Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number
  4. Certificate of completion from the eduction provider

Benefits of a UK Graduate visa and a Skilled worker visa

Both the visas have their own pros and cons. The Graduate route is direct after finishing your studies you can apply for a job, there is no sponsorship or minimum salary requirement. However, there is one defining characteristic of the skiller worker visa that is slightly advantageous than the Graduate visa

The Skilled worker visa allows to stay and work in the UK for 5 years, whereas on a Graduate visa one can stay for up to 2  and 3 years depending on the education qualification.

Having lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years opens your door to the UK settlement(indefinite Leave to Remain) and eventually you can seek to apply for British Citizenship. For applying British citizenship, you must fulfil the criteria, such as, passing the Life in the UK test, bear a good character and prove the English language proficiency.

Take legal assistance

Before making a decision you must have a thorough understanding of the guidance laid down by the Home Office for Graduate and skilled worker visa both. It would be best if you take expert legal advice. A Y & J Solicitors have been industry experts and provide bespoke immigration advice of all legal matters pertaining UK visa and immigration.

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