Graduate Trainee Visa UK

For overseas graduates looking for graduate trainee schemes in the UK

Holmes & Partners Ltd. congratulate you on completing your university degree! Our team of immigration and visa experts are here to make the process of applying for your graduate trainee visa a lot less stressful, helping you prepare for your upcoming trainee programme.

Do you need a UK visa?

Try our simple and easy to use questionnaire to find out which UK visa you may be entitled to.

A Graduate Trainee Visa

A Graduate Trainee Visa allows recent graduates from overseas to find employment within the UK. This visa was previously known as the Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer) Graduate Trainee Visa. These visas can be used to partake in a graduate scheme or programme which is a structured training programme that will be run by your corporate employer. The aim of graduate trainee programmes is to develop your skills past university and build future leaders for the organisation.

Maximum stay of five years

The Graduate Trainee Visa allows for a maximum stay of five years in the UK in any six-year period if you have spent time on another Global Business Mobility Visa. You can apply for this visa up to three months before the day you are expected to begin working – the same date that is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.
Eligibility for a Graduate Trainee Visa
To apply, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Your job must be part of a graduate training programme for a managerial or specialist role.

  • You must be an existing employee of an organisation that has been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor.

  • You must have been employed by your sponsor outside of the UK for a minimum of three months immediately before they apply.

  • You must have a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer, containing the work you will be doing in the UK.

  • Your salary must be at least £23,100 per year or the going rate for the specific position.

What you can and cannot do on a Graduate Trainee Visa

  • The graduate trainee visa comes with its own criteria on what is and isn’t allowed during your stay here. Failure to comply with these criteria would lead to a review of your visa with the right to terminate.

  • You can work for your sponsor under the job they have sponsored you for. You are also allowed to attend extra study classes alongside this work. You can bring your partner or dependent children, depending on their own eligibility.

  • You cannot apply for benefits whilst under a graduate trainee visa. You are not permitted to change your job or apply for a secondary job. You are also not allowed to apply for permanent settlement (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK.

  • Holmes & Partners Ltd can provide you with a full, comprehensive list of what is and is not allowed under the graduate trainee visa once your application is successful.

Bringing Your Dependants
Your partner and children may be eligible to join you in the UK as dependants, however, they must meet their own eligibility criteria. Dependants are classed as:

  • Your wife, husband, civil partner or unmarried partner

    For any of the above to enter the UK as your dependant, you must provide proof that you are legally in a marriage or civil partnership that is recognised in the UK. If you are not under any legal arrangement, you must prove that you have been living together whilst in your relationship for at least two years before you apply.

  • Children over the ages of 16

    If your child is over the age of 16, for them to class as your dependant they must:

    • Live with you, unless they are a resident at a boarding school, college or university.

    • Not be married, in a civil partnership or have their own children.

    • Be fully financially supported by you.

    For children that do live under the same roof as you, you will need to provide evidence that they live at the same address. You can do this by submitting: a bank statement, credit card bills, a driving or provisional licence, an NHS registration document, or an official letter from their college or university.


Graduate schemes allow recent graduates to join a well-renowned, established company. They allow you to prove your skills and knowledge gained from your degree, with many companies looking to hire graduates on a long-term basis.

The National Careers Service website provides graduates with an overview on getting a place in a graduate scheme with many corporate companies searching for the right candidate for their scheme outside of the UK.

There are charges associated with the Graduate Trainee Visa which include the application fee as well as the healthcare surcharge per year of your stay. If you wish to bring dependants – partner and/or children – with you, there will be additional charges associated with your application.

For a full breakdown of these prices, please contact a Holmes & Partners Ltd. representative as these prices can vary depending on your requirements.

Why Choose Holmes & Partners Ltd?

We are a small, local firm based in Leeds who work with clients worldwide. Our small size means we can offer a tailored, personal approach to all our clients, focused around their needs. At Holmes & Partners Ltd, our team are all experienced in visas and immigration, many on a first-hand basis, and so really are experts in their fields. We can take care of the entire visa process for you, as well as offering support and advice whenever you may need it, leaving you free to enjoy your time studying in the UK. Our services are charged on a fixed fee rate, so there are no hidden extras or nasty surprises when it comes to paying the bill.
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Get in touch today!

Get In Touch Today!

Our skilled and friendly team are ready to answer all of your questions and to fully support you during your visa application process. Contact our team today for advice and support.