- What Is The UK Graduate Trainee Visa?
- What Are The Eligibility Requirements For The UK Graduate Visa?
- What Is The Graduate Trainee Visa Application Process?
- What Are The Necessary Documents For A Graduate Trainee Visa?
- What Are The Conditions Of The Graduate Trainee Route?
- What Is The Visa Application Fee For A UK Graduate Trainee Visa?
- How Long Does It Take To Get A Decision On UK Visas?
- How Long Does The UK Graduate Trainee Visa Last?
- Can Dependants Join Visa Holders On The UK Graduate Trainee Visa?
- How Total Law Can Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The UK Graduate Trainee Visa?
Irish citizens can move to the UK for a job freely, due to the long withstanding agreement between the UK government and Irish governments, which permits citizens to freely work, live, study and reside without immigration obstruction.
This is the “Common Travel Area.” As such, Irish citizens and British citizens do not require any immigration control or immigration system that citizens from other countries require to work at the UK branch of their company.
If you permanently and legally reside in Ireland but are not an Irish citizen, it will require you to become a graduate trainee visa holder through the structured graduate training programme visa route before you can move to the UK.
Overseas workers intra-company graduate trainees that want to do a graduate training programme at a UK branch of their overseas employer will need to apply for a Graduate Trainee visa.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements For The UK Graduate Visa?
In order to be eligible to take the graduate trainee visa route to obtain a graduate trainee visa, the graduate trainee visa applicants have to meet the following criteria:
- Be 18 years old or more at the date of application
- Be part of a structured graduate training programme for a managerial or specialist role with overseas businesses that have a legitimate work placement in the UK
- Be an already existing employee of a sponsor organisation that’s been approved by the Home Office as a UK sponsor and has been assigned a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from that sponsor
- Be doing an eligible job with a relevant occupation code to the appropriate skill level as set out in the Immigration Rules
- Be paid the minimum eligible salary that meets the general salary threshold
- Be working for the overseas business at the date of application and have worked for that business for at least 3 months before they apply
- Notify UK visas to satisfy the personal savings (if bringing a dependent partner or kids)
What Is The Graduate Trainee Visa Application Process?
To apply for a UK Graduate Trainee visa, the application must be done online using the reference number found on their Certificate of sponsorship.
The application can be made for a Graduate Trainee visa up to 3 months before the day the applicant is due to start work in the UK.
This start date is listed on the sponsorship valid certificate.
This certificate also includes information about their job role and start date.
Following the application for the UK Graduate Trainee visa, proving their identity and citizenship, and the applicant has submitted their supporting documentation, the decision will usually be made within 3 weeks.
What Are The Necessary Documents For A Graduate Trainee Visa?
To reiterate, Irish citizens with an Irish passport do not require a graduate trainee visa to move and work in the UK. However, should you live in Ireland with other immigration permission, you do. To become a Graduate trainee visa holders must first provide the necessary documents:
- A valid passport or another valid travel document that shows the graduate trainees’ identity and nationality.
- A valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) reference number (this will be given to the applicant by their employer).
- Any form of proof that documents the graduate trainee visa applicant’s job title and annual salary.
- Do one of the eligible occupations and have an appropriate occupation code.
- Evidence showing the applicant’s employer and their sponsor license number.
- Financial forms show that the applicant holds all necessary funds to support themselves whilst in the UK (ex. bank statements).
- Evidence that proves the applicant was an overseas worker outside the UK for a minimum of 3 months prior to submitting the graduate trainee visa application (ex. Payslips or contract).
- Any documents of the structured graduate training programme the applicant will be attending.
- A valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate (if the applicant’s job involves researching a sensitive subject at a PhD level or higher).
- Any documents that provide proof of relationship to dependants if applying with family members (such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, adoption certificates, etc).
- Tuberculosis test results (if applicable).
All of the above documents must be submitted in either English or Welsh. If they are not already in those languages, it is imperative they are translated by a certified translator.
What Are The Conditions Of The Graduate Trainee Route?
The graduate trainee visa permits you to undertake any work in the UK, including:
- Paid and unpaid employment
- Voluntary work or unpaid work
- Be self-employed
- Engaging in business or any professional activity
It is not possible to extend your visa, but you can apply for another graduate trainee visa from outside the UK.
Oppositely, the following are not permitted while on a UK visa:
- Apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
- Change jobs
- Have a second job
- Apply to settle permanently in the UK
As an Irish citizen, you do have the rights to access benefits, change jobs, have multiple jobs and live in the UK for good.
What Is The Visa Application Fee For A UK Graduate Trainee Visa?
The visa application for a UK Graduate Trainee visa includes a number of fees. These fees are:
- The Application fee is £259
- The healthcare surcharge is £624 (not applicable for Irish nationals)
- To be able to show proof of funds
How Long Does It Take To Get A Decision On UK Visas?
Graduate trainee visas, after finishing the graduate trainee visa application online, proving your identity and submitting the required documents, a decision on the graduate trainee visa is usually made within 3 weeks.
It is possible that you’ll be contacted if your application will take longer, due to:
- Your supporting documents need to be verified
- You need to attend an interview
- Your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)
How Long Does The UK Graduate Trainee Visa Last?
The UK government will be granted for whichever is shorter of:
- The time stated on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days
- 12 months
You cannot extend your visa, but you can apply for another Graduate Trainee visa from outside the UK.
Can Dependants Join Visa Holders On The UK Graduate Trainee Visa?
It is possible for Graduate Trainee visa-holders to be accompanied by their spouse or dependent partner and dependent children, provided these individuals meet the relevant requirements for dependants.
Under the financial requirement, unless the UK sponsor is able to certify maintenance for the entire family, a spouse or partner would need to show proof of funds of £285, whilst a dependent child would need £315, and any additional children would need £200 each.
Each applicant would also need to pay a separate application fee and annual healthcare surcharge.
If the application of a spouse, partner or dependent child of a Graduate Trainee is successful, their visa will end on the same date as the primary visa-holder.
Irish citizen dependents who are also Irish citizens, do not need to worry about immigration rules and can move freely to the UK.
How Total Law Can Help?
Total Law is an excellent team of qualified immigration lawyers who are certified by the solicitors regulation authority and are experts in this immigration category, can provide excellent support on the Home Office requirements and aid in answering any and all questions.
We are able to advise you on sponsorship obligations, residency programs, job skill level requirements and more.
Please contact us to discuss the visa anytime, as we’d love to support you. We are open seven days a week and can be reached by phone on (+353) 061 518 025, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.
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Yes. To be eligible for a UK Graduate Trainee visa, the applicant has to be sponsored by a Home Office-approved UK sponsor authorised to sponsor this category of workers.
The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a formalized arrangement between the United Kingdom and Ireland which provides rights to citizens of those countries, which includes the right to travel freely and move between both countries freely without any immigration control.
Applicants coming to the UK for 6 months or longer must pay a mandatory immigration health surcharge in order to access the National Health Service (NHS).