From the 1st July, several changes to the immigration system come into effect. 

Graduate Route

The new Graduate immigration route opened for applications on 1 July 2021. The introduction of the route is intended to build on the government’s delivery of the UK’s new points-based immigration system, which came into effect on 1 January 2021.

The Graduate route provides an opportunity for international students who have been awarded their degree to stay in the UK and work, or look for work, at any skill level for two years, or three years for doctoral students.

The route is unsponsored, meaning applicants do not need a job offer in order to be eligible. There is no minimum salary requirement nor caps on numbers. Graduates on the route can work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required. Whilst the route does not lead to settlement, those on the route will be able to move into another work-based route, such as the Skilled Worker route - which does lead to settlement - once they meet the requirements.

Applicants must be in the UK when they apply. Those who apply from outside of the UK will be rejected and refused entry to the UK and could lose their eligibility to apply for the Graduate route as a whole.

Due to COVID-19, concessions are in place for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic. Applicants who began their studies in autumn 2020, or spring 2021 will need to be in the UK with permission as a Student, by 27 September 2021.

Further information about the Graduate route is available on GOV.UK.

Digital Status

From 1 July, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens need to prove their rights in the UK with their immigration status, instead of their ID card or passport.

Find out more at

Right to Work

Following the change to employer right to work checks from 1 July 2021, the following GOV.UK pages have been updated with the latest information:   

Employer Information for UK Points-Based Immigration System – Helping employers understand the new points-based immigration system (

Right to work checklist - GOV.UK (