60% of grads in work thanks to visa schemes

21 Jun 2022

A study carried out by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) shows high employment rates amongst the first international students eligible to apply for Britain’s new post-study work visa. The new visa has bolstered international recruitment for UK universities, say reports, with 12,484 granted within the new grad category, according to the Office for National statistics.  

Survey findings

Over 1,000 respondents took part in the AGCAS poll, all international grads, who completed their studies after June 2021. The final results were founded on a sample of 345 respondents, 85% of which were registered on the graduate route and 15% on skilled worker visas. The grads polled studied at 52 universities all over the UK, representing more than 71 nationalities. The highest proportion of respondents were from India, totalling 29%. Most of the people who took part in the survey, 77%, had completed a postgraduate course, which provides a three-year visa window for one year of university fees.


In terms of finding post-uni employment, 42% said they had applied for over 50 jobs during their search. Nine months after graduating, 60% were in a full-time position, 7% were part-time and 26% were unemployed. The results also revealed an extensive range of industries and businesses recruiting international grads, according to AGCAS International co-chair, Helen Atkinson. “We could see universities and local councils, as well as perhaps the more traditional organisations that have always been a bit more inclined to recruit international talent like multinational organisations and financial services firms,” she stated. “One thing that was really interesting, is that we did have a few examples from the survey of large employers that were recruiting graduates both through the graduate route and the skilled worker route.”

High Potential Individual visa

The UK government recently unveiled the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa route, with the aim of appealing to top grads around the world. According to the government website, the HPI visa “gives you permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years. To apply, you must have been awarded a qualification by an eligible university in the last 5 years.”