It sees the end of the EU Settlement Scheme and revisions to the Right to Work checks. It also marks the start of the new Graduate Immigration Route. The new immigration route offers UK-graduates, at bachelor’s degree or above, a 2-year visa to work or look for work with PhD students granted 3 years. The new route will allow employers to hire those on a Graduate Immigration Route without sponsorship.

Who is eligible?

Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher from a UK higher education institute, with a track record of compliance. They should have spent at least 12 months studying in the UK. The application must be made from within the UK and is only open to those who graduate after 1 July 2021.

For those who started their studies during the COVID pandemic, they may be eligible if the following applies:

  • They began their studies in Autumn 2020 and enter the UK by 21 June 2021
  • They began their studies in January or February 2021 and enter the UK by 27 September 2021

How will this impact employers?

While the route will allow employers to hire without sponsorship, employers may offer sponsorship at any point during the 2- or 3-year visa. To continue employing the individual after expiry date, the employer must provide sponsorship, or the individual will move to another eligible immigration category.

This new route provides a steady stream of talent to employers impacted by the shortage of graduate-level workers following Brexit. Previously, employers would have had to sponsor graduates at a minimum salary level, in addition to the costs associated with sponsorship. This route will provide a bridge for employers to retain the best, international talent.

Successful applicants will be issued with eVisa, similar to those issued to EU nationals under the EU Settlement Scheme. Employers will then need to conduct an online right to work check, using the share code provided by the applicant.

How can we help?

We will keep you updated with changing UK immigration laws, explain their implications and guide you through these and all other aspects of employment law. We have extensive experience of supporting businesses with EAA workers so if you require need support, please get in touch.