The Eligibility Criteria for the Graduate Visa and Refusal
The Graduate visa allows you to stay in the UK for a minimum period of two years after having successfully completed a course within a British educational or professional institution. You can find all the information you need about the Graduate visa here.
Understanding what each eligibility criteria is will help you understand why you were refused or what you can do to prevent a refusal. We will go into detail on the refusal reasons below and how to prevent/fix them.
Firstly, you must be present in the UK when you apply for this visa.
If you have already applied and did not meet one of the criteria listed below, then this is likely the reason for your visa refusal.
UK requirement for the Graduate visa is as follows:
- Have a Student visa
- Have completed a course of study such as a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree, or other another course that makes you eligible for a Student visa
- Have organised that your education provider has been in touch with the Home Office to confirm that you have successfully passed and completed your course
- Have a track record of compliance with UK law and immigration rules
- Be in the UK when you apply.
Generally, applicants for the graduate visa have a 98% success rate in being approved for their visa so long as they match the eligibility criteria. However, simple mistakes and oversights can be made before and during the application process which can mean that your visa application is refused.
It should be noted that visa refusals stay on your immigration track record in the UK, which can impact your ability to be granted access to visas in the longer term. It is therefore vital to fully understand the visa application requirements and processes available to you so that you can avoid visa refusals in the first place.
That is what IAS is here for. We can support you with your application and tell you everything you need to know to be successful in being granted your Graduate Route visa. Contact us today online or call 0333 305 9375.
The Applicant Did Not Pass Their Course
In order to receive a Graduate visa, successful completion of your course is essential.
You should not apply for a Graduate visa if you have knowingly failed your course, as this will guarantee an application refusal.
If you applied for the Post Study Work visa before you received your course results from your higher education or professional course provider, then this could also cause a visa refusal, as it opens up the possibility of unsuccessful completion of the course in the process. It is therefore best to go down the Graduate visa route only after you have successfully completed your course from your higher education provider.
If you want to be accepted onto a Post Study Work visa, you must do everything possible to pass your course or dissertation. If you have any doubts as to whether you will achieve a pass grade in your course, then we recommend speaking with an advisor at your institution to find out what options are available to you.
The Applicant Did Not Extend their Student Visa
If you are concerned that you will not pass your course, or there are other circumstances that are affecting your ability to successfully complete your course, then extending your current Student visa is recommended.
Getting an extension on your student visa can allow you more time to retake exams or resubmit coursework or dissertations to ensure that you receive a pass grade in your course. If there are other issues affecting your course, then going the Student route for visa extension also allows you the opportunity to rectify those issues.
If you have failed projects, modules or exams on your course, or you are only passing your course by a small margin, then we recommend that you request an extension on your student visa so that you can give yourself extra time to rectify your grades. This reduces your chances of being refused a visa.
Student visa applications usually take around 3 weeks to process, so make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to apply for an extension before your current Student visa expires. You will need support from your higher education or professional course provider to extend your visa, so be sure to clearly communicate your circumstances and visa requirements so they can support you with your visa extension process.
The Applicant’s Student Visa Has Expired
Your Student visa must still be valid for you to study in the UK when you apply for your Graduate visa. If your student visa is expired when the Home Office receive your application for the Post Study Work visa, then your visa will be refused.
The Applicant is Outside the UK
You must be in the UK when you apply for your Graduate visa, and you cannot apply from outside of the country.
A Problem with the Application
The application process for the Graduate visa requires specific documentation and all eligibility criteria must be met. There are several reasons why your application may have failed:
- Proof of identity wasn’t provided
- Incorrect immigration status
- Failing to submit all correct supporting documents
- Failing to respond to Home Office requests for further information
- Failing to prove a job offer from an eligible sponsor
- Failing to prove that you have been offered work in the UK or that the job you have been offered will meet the minimum salary threshold (at least £25,600 a year, or the going rate for the job)
- Lacking the appropriate level of English language skills (B1 on the CEFR Scale).
The Graduate visa is new to the UK immigration system, and so understanding all the Graduate visa requirements and applying alone can be difficult. At IAS, we will support you through the Graduate visa application with our team of expert immigration lawyers who understand all the latest information and legalities surrounding UK visas. Contact our team today on 0333 305 9375.
The Course Wasn’t Eligible
If your course is not eligible for the graduate route, you are likely to be refused/that might be the reason you were refused as well. Courses that make you eligible to apply for the Graduate Route visa are as follows:
- UK Bachelor’s degree level qualification
- UK Master’s degree level qualification
- UK PhD or doctoral qualification
- Law conversion courses approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
- The Legal Practice Course in England and Wales, a Diploma in Professional Legal Practice in Scotland, or the Solicitors Course in Northern Ireland
- The Bar Practice Course in England and Wales, or the Bar Course in Northern Ireland
- Foundation programmes in medicine or dentistry
- Postgraduate Certificates in Education (PGCE)
- Postgraduate Diplomas in Education (PGDE).
Though you do not need a diploma or postgraduate certificate to apply for the Post Study Work visa, it is recommended that you are certain that you have successfully completed your course.
My Graduate Visa Application Was Refused; What are My Options
If your graduate visa application was refused, the first thing to do is find out why.
If the reason for refusal is one of the reasons above, read the instructions we have placed above concerning being eligible/fixing the refusal based on that reason.
In addition, review your options which might be one of the following:
If you have the option for administrative review, you will typically find that in your refusal letter. If you don’t have that option, you might qualify for judicial review – it’s recommended you discuss with an immigration lawyer first. For reapplication, it’s straightforward applying again. However, note that previous visa refusals might affect your chances. Call us at 0333 305 9375 today for advice or assistance.
What is an Administrative Review for Graduate Visa Refusal Route?
An administrative review is a process where the applicant has the opportunity to appeal an immigration decision made by the UK Government Home Office.
It must be noted that appeals can only be made if the applicant has considerable evidence that the Home Office have made an error when reviewing your application.
The administrative review will be taken on by a different person to the person who reviewed your initial application, but the same application will be reviewed.
Should I apply for an Administrative Review or Start a New Application?
If there is reason to believe there were errors made from your side or parts of your initial application were unclear, it might be best just to start a new Graduate visa application, or consider whether one of the other UK visas are a better fit for your circumstances.
If your application to become a Graduate visa holder is refused a second time, and you still feel that the reasons for refusal are ungrounded, then you may be eligible to file a Pre Action Protocol and Judicial Review against the decision.
How much does an Administrative Review Cost?
Administrative reviews can be applied for online and it costs £80.
If your appeal is accepted and the UK Government offers you a UK visa, then the application fee will be refunded to you. However, you will still be liable to pay the mandatory Immigration Health Surcharge, which usually costs £624 per year. This allows you access to the NHS.
If after an administrative review you understand that errors were made by you during the initial application, then it may be best just to submit a new application. The application for a new Graduate visa costs £715.
How Do I Apply for an Administrative Review?
You can apply for an administrative review with IAS. Depending on your circumstances, you will need to do so within a 7, 14, or 28 day timeframe. We have a team of experienced immigration lawyers that will support you every step of the way, so that you can be sure that your application is eligible and completed correctly.
Contact us today online or call us on 0333 305 9375.
How Long Does an Administrative Review Take?
When you receive your refusal letter, it will include a timeline within which you can submit an application for an administrative review. This is usually within 1 month of receiving the letter.
Typically, you should receive a response from the Home Office regarding your administrative review within 1 month of submitting your appeal. However, it can take up to 6 months to process (which will be communicated to you if this is the case), so be sure to apply with plenty of time and during your current Student visa’s validity period.
What are the Eligibility Criteria for Graduate Route Visa Administrative Reviews?
Your ability to apply for an administrative review depends on whether you were offered the option in your refusal letter, and where you are applying from.
A request for an administrative review will be automatically withdrawn if you apply for any other visa during that time.
You cannot request an administrative review if you have already made a new visa application.
If you are not offered an administrative review in your refusal letter, then you may be able to appeal the decision instead. IAS are happy to help you with this. If your refusal letter does not offer the option for an Administrative Review, you can talk to us about your appeal options by calling us on 0333 305 9375 or contacting us online.
You must fit the following criteria to apply for an administrative review from inside the UK:
- You applied from inside the UK
- Your Graduate visa application was refused
- Your visa was granted, but the terms of your stay are not what you expected.
How Can IAS Help?
We understand how complicated UK visas can be for international students. With so many different options available, it can be difficult to know which visa is right for you, and therefore puts you at risk of applying for the wrong visa, or not knowing whether to look for an extension on your current visa.
Visa refusals are very frustrating and costly. We completely understand why you might be hesitant to appeal the initial decision or reapply for the same or a different visa.
That is why we are here to help. We have a team of expert immigration lawyers who are fully up to date with the latest qualification requirements that Graduate visa holders need, and what to do next in order to make sure you can stay in the UK. We understand all the available options to you if you have had your visa refused, whether you are in the UK, abroad, or have been detained.
Contact us today online or call us on 0333 305 9375.
Last modified on May 24th, 2023 at 3:18 pm
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Having your visa refused doesn’t mean that you can’t apply again, or apply for a different visa. However, a visa refusal does leave a mark on your immigration record, and build up of visa rejections could negatively impact your ability to be granted a visa in the future.
Making sure you are fully eligible and your application is completed correctly is essential.
Yes. Your refusal letter will include an option to apply for an administrative review if you are eligible for it. If you are not eligible, you may be able to appeal through a Pre Action Protocol and Judicial Review. It is recommended that you do this with the support of an experienced immigration lawyer – IAS can help.
An administrative review costs £80. If your review is accepted and you are granted your visa, the UK government will refund this cost.
The most common reasons Graduate visas are rejected are:
- The applicant’s Student visa has expired, or was not extended accordingly
- The applicant is not in the UK
- A problem with the application, such as submitting incorrect documents or incomplete forms
- Not providing sufficient proof that you are eligible for the visa.