The government of the United Kingdom has called for entries for this year’s edition of Graduate route, its post-study work programme, for Nigerian and other international students in the country.
In a post on Thursday, the British high commission in Nigeria said about 17,500 student visas were granted to Nigerian students by the UK government this year.
According to the commission, the figure represents a “massive 83% increase on the previous year.”
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.”
It added that for the first time, the majority of the applicants will be able to apply in a fully digital way, using the UK Immigration: ID Check smartphone app.
In a statement on its website, the UK government said the opportunity is only available to international students, who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance.
It noted that such applicant must also have a valid tier 4 or student visa at the time of application and must have completed the entirety of their course in the UK as a student.
It, however, noted that an exception to the above is for “permitted study abroad programmes or remote study due to COVID-19 for which specific concessions have been agreed.”
“You must have completed the qualification that was named on the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) associated with your Student (or Tier 4) visa, or following a change of course which was allowed without applying for further permission,” it added.
The statement said that candidates must pay £700 — for both two and three-year graduate route applications — as well as the immigration health surcharge to apply.
It added that candidates can only kickstart their application for the programme once their institutions sent them their final course results, adding that they do not have to wait until graduation before applying.
“You must be in the UK when you 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. In addition, application fees may not be refunded,” it added.
In a statement to TheCable Lifestyle, Catriona Laing, British high commissioner to Nigeria, said the programme demonstrates the UK government’s commitment to promoting talents and excellence globally.
“I look forward to students from Nigeria taking advantage of this exciting opportunity presented by the new Graduate Route,” Laing said.
“The new route shows the UK’s commitment to attracting talented individuals from Nigeria and across the globe to bring their talent to the UK and develop their skills further.”