International Graduates Scheme
Please scroll down to the bottom of the page for a description of our service and our fee schedule for this visa.
The International Graduates Scheme (IGS) is a way for non-European Economic Area students of higher education institutes within the United Kingdom to remain in the country for one year after graduation and gain valuable work experience. Less restrictive than earlier student immigration routes, the International Graduates Scheme allows a student of any discipline to apply.
If the graduate wishes to remain in the UK after one year, they must switch over to another immigration category such as the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). The intention is to encourage graduates to take up a career in the UK by giving them a transitional route into another immigration category.
This scheme supersedes the Science and Engineering Graduates Students (SEGS) scheme, which was a similar but more restrictive category that was discontinued for anyone who has graduated on or after 01 May 2007. Anyone who graduated before 01 May 2007 must still come under the previous SEGS scheme, which places restrictions on which courses are eligible
Please note that an amendment to SEGS allows those who commenced a Master's or PhD course of study on or after 01 May 2006 to be eligible for SEGS with with any course, while still being subject to all other requirements of the previous SEGS scheme.
Besides the exception noted above, SEGS was only allowed for graduates of science and engineering disciplines, while the International Graduates Scheme is open to anyone who attains a degree from a recognised or listed UK educational institution. Other improvements include accepting any degree class (grade) except fail, instead of the previous SEGS requirement of a 2.2.
One advantage students who wish to stay in the UK have with this scheme is by gaining valuable UK work experience after graduation. For example, a student can use UK work experience to score points towards the requirements of HSMP.
A graduate can apply for IGS before they are issued with their degree certificate. If they do not have a degree certificate, a letter from their institution confirming that they have completed the course at the required level will be accepted as proof.
Who can qualifyFor a student to successfully come under the International Graduates Scheme, they must:
- have completed a relevant course at a recognized institute of higher learning within the UK such as a bachelor's degree, Master's degree, PhD, or postgraduate certificate or diploma, including those who have completed a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education).
- have completed the course within the last twelve months. This is calculated from the date of expiry of leave as a Student to complete the course.
- intend to work during the period of one year granted by the scheme.
- be able to support and accomodate themselves and any dependents without resorting to the use of public funds.
- intend to leave the UK after the period of one year unless they transfer to another scheme as a highly skilled migrant, business owner, student, or innovator.
- get permission before applying for IGS if their studies were sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency.
Recognised and Listed Institutions
The government of the United Kingdom recognises institutions who grant degrees by virtue of their own power, called 'recognised' bodies, or those institutions who grant degrees under the power of another institution, called 'listed' bodies.
Anyone coming under the International Graduates Scheme can take any kind of employment they want. They are also allowed to switch to other schemes such as HSMP, business owner, or innovator while in the UK.
If spouses, unmarried partners, civil partners and children are already in the UK during the applicant's stay as a student, they can switch along with the applicant and remain in the UK. Entry clearance is required if the dependants are applying from abroad.
We offer a Premium Service and a normal service. With the Premium Service, we will process your application in one business day. Our normal service will be through the post, which can take approximately a business week.
The Premium Service breaks down as £595 (the Home Office fee) plus £605 (our fee) for a total of £1200, which we will process within one business day of receipt of payment.
The normal service (by post) breaks down as £395 (the Home Office fee) plus £605 (our fee) for a total of £1000, and is subject to normal processing times depending on the Home Office, the postal system, and demand by other applicants.