Graduate Trainee Route

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What is the Graduate Trainee Route?

On 11 April 2022, the Graduate Trainee route replaced the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route. The Graduate Trainee route allows employers to transfer their overseas workers to the UK for a work placement, where the employee is on a graduate training program leading to a senior management or specialist position. The requirements for the new route are similar to the old route with a few amendments.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible under this route:

  • You need to be aged 18 or over on the date of application
  • You need to be an employee of an organisation that has been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor
  • Before the date of your application, you must have worked for your sponsor outside the UK for at least 3 months
  • You need to be assigned a certificate of sponsorship from your employer with information about the work you will do in the UK
  • You need to have a job that is on the list of eligible occupations
  • You need to be earning a salary of at least £23,100 per year

How long can you stay in the UK under this route?

If you are granted a visa under this route, you will be able to stay for whichever is shorter, either 12 months from the date the visa was granted, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus an additional 14 days.

The Graduate Trainee visa cannot be extended but you can apply for another Graduate Trainee visa once you have left the UK.

How is it different to the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route?

The changes made by the Graduate Trainee route are:

  • The requirement for employers to have a limit on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship that they can assign on this route has been removed (previously, employers were restricted to assigning a maximum of 20 certificates)
  • The general salary threshold has increased from £23,000 to £23,100 per year
  • Graduate trainees can no longer take on supplementary employment (previously, graduate trainees could add secondary employment)
  • Unlike the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route, the new route does not lead to settlement within the UK

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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