Secure your future with our Graduate Trainee Visa guide. Perfect for young professionals aiming to gain global experience in their field.

Graduate Trainee Visa

In today’s interconnected world, career opportunities are limitless. The Graduate Trainee Visa opens doors for professional growth in the United Kingdom. This guide covers everything you need to know, including who can apply, the advantages of the visa, how to apply, and other important details. If you’re prepared to start an exciting professional adventure, let’s explore what this visa has to offer.

Overview of the Graduate Trainee Visa:

The Graduate Trainee Visa allows individuals to participate in overseas graduate training programs in the UK, enhancing their skills in a global business environment.

Benefits of the Graduate Trainee Visa

Holders of the Graduate Trainee Visa can:

  • Work in the UK for the sponsoring employer in the role specified.
  • Study while in the UK.
  • Bring dependents, such as a partner and children.
  • Volunteer and travel in and out of the UK.

However, certain limitations apply, such as restrictions on accessing public funds, changing jobs, or applying for permanent settlement in the UK.

The Points Requirement 

To secure the Graduate Trainee Visa, you must accumulate 60 points across three categories, each worth 20 points:

  • Sponsorship: Obtain a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer.
  • Job at appropriate skill level: Your role must be at the graduate level (level 6 or above).
  • Salary at the required level: Ensure an annual income of at least £23,100 or 70% of the going rate for your job.

Meeting these criteria is essential to qualify for the visa successfully.

What Are the Sponsorship Requirements?

For a successful Graduate Trainee Visa application, your sponsor needs to meet these key requirements:

  • Certificate of Sponsorship: Your sponsor must give you a valid certificate for a training program that prepares you for a senior management or specialist role in the UK.
  • Legitimacy of Training: They need to show that the training program is genuine, usually by providing evidence that they are recruiting participants for it.
  • Maintain an A Rating: Your sponsor should have and keep an A rating with the Home Office. If they lose this rating, it could affect your visa application.

How Long Can You Stay in the UK? 

With a Graduate Trainee Visa, your stay in the UK is determined by two factors:

  • The duration specified on your certificate of sponsorship plus an additional 14 days.
  • A maximum of 12 months.

Unfortunately, you cannot extend this visa within the UK. However, you can apply for another Graduate Trainee Visa upon expiration, provided you leave the UK first. Keep in mind that a maximum stay of 5 years within any 6 years applies if you have spent time on certain other visas, such as an Intra-company Graduate Trainee Visa or Senior or Specialist Worker Visa.

How to Apply 

Applying for a Graduate Trainee Visa is a straightforward process:

  • Visit the website.
  • Ensure you’ve worked for your sponsor outside the UK for at least 3 months before applying.
  • Complete the application form and upload the necessary supporting documents.
  • Verify your identity either at a visa application center or using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check app.
  • Make sure to apply no earlier than 3 months before your intended UK work start date, as specified on your certificate of sponsorship. Additional processing time may be required for visa application center appointments.

Required Supporting Documents

For your Graduate Trainee Visa application, you will need to prepare the following documents:

  • Certificate of Sponsorship Reference Number: This is provided by your employer.
  • Valid Passport or Identity Document: Make sure your passport or another form of ID is current.
  • Job Title and Annual Salary Details: Document that outlines your job position and salary.
  • Employer’s Name and Sponsor License Number: Information regarding your employer and their official sponsor license.
  • Proof of Sufficient Personal Savings: Evidence that you have enough money in your bank to support yourself in the UK.
  • Evidence of Your Relationship with Dependents (if applicable): If you are bringing family members, provide documents that prove your relationship.
  • Tuberculosis Test Results: Needed if you are from a country that requires a tuberculosis test for visa applications.

Use of Previous Certificate of Sponsorship: If your certificate of sponsorship was issued between 11 February 2022 and 11 April 2022, you can use the same certificate for your Graduate Trainee Visa, saving the need to obtain a new one.

Visa Costs

To get a Graduate Trainee Visa, you need to pay a fee of £259. You also have to pay £624 each year as an immigration healthcare surcharge. Before applying, make sure you have at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 straight days, with the last day of this period being within 31 days of applying. Your employer might pay up to £1,270 of these costs, as stated in your certificate of sponsorship. Remember, any family members joining you in the UK must also show they have enough money to support themselves during their stay.

Processing Time

After submitting your application, supporting documents, and identity verification, expect a decision within approximately 3 weeks. Remember to apply no more than 3 months before your intended UK work start date, as specified on your certificate of sponsorship. If you’re in a hurry, consider expedited processing services, available for an additional fee, potentially reducing processing times to 5 days or even the next working day.

After Applying

Following your application submission, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will review your case to ensure it meets the visa requirements. If your application is approved, you’ll receive either a vignette sticker in your passport (if you provided biometrics at a visa application center) or access to view your immigration status information online (if you used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check app).

The information will detail your visa type, validity dates, and conditions. Upon your arrival in the UK, you’ll need to collect your biometric residence permit if you applied for one. In case of a refusal, you’ll receive a letter or email explaining the grounds for rejection and information regarding administrative reviews or immigration decision appeals.

Requirements for Dependents

Bringing your loved ones with you to the UK is possible under the Graduate Trainee Visa. Here are the key details for dependents:

Overview of Dependents 

You can bring the following family members:

  • Spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner.
  • Children under 18, including those born in the UK during your stay.
  • Children over 18 who are currently in the UK as your dependents.

Requirements for Partners 

To bring your partner to the UK, you must either:

  • Be in a recognized civil partnership or marriage in the UK.
  • Have cohabited in a relationship for at least 2 years upon application.

Requirements for Children 16 or Over

If your children are 16 or older, they must:

  • Reside with you (except for full-time students at boarding schools, colleges, or universities).
  • Not be married, in a civil partnership, or have children.
  • Receive financial support from you.
  • Additionally, if your child lives with you, you must provide proof of their address using relevant documents.

Financial Requirements for Dependents

Your dependents must demonstrate their financial stability while in the UK:

  • £285 for your partner.
  • £315 for one child.
  • £200 for each additional child.

They must maintain this financial capacity for at least 28 consecutive days, with the 28th day falling within 31 days of their application date. However, exceptions apply if your partner or child has been in the UK with a valid visa for over 12 months or if your employer covers your family’s initial costs, confirmed on your certificate of sponsorship.

To apply, each dependent should submit a separate online visa application through the website and pay the required visa application fee. Biometric identity verification is mandatory.

For comprehensive guidance on your Graduate Trainee Visa application, consider consulting our immigration experts. We’re here to help you navigate the journey seamlessly.

In conclusion, the Graduate Trainee Visa provides a fantastic opportunity for career advancement in the UK. By meeting the eligibility requirements, gathering the necessary documents, and carefully following the application steps, you can open the door to a bright future in the UK job market. Don’t miss this chance to expand your horizons and enhance your career. Start your application journey today!

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