MAC Publishes Report into UK Graduate Route

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) today published its much-anticipated rapid review of the Graduate Route. Also referred to as the ‘post-study work visa’, the Graduate Route allows international students who graduate from UK universities to stay and work for up to two years after completing their studies, or up to three years following a PhD or other doctoral qualification.

Earlier this year, the Government commissioned the MAC to undertake a rapid review in light of concerns about the route’s potential impact on immigration and on the quality of UK higher education.


Rapid Review Findings


The MAC’s report concluded there was no evidence of widespread abuse of the Graduate Route, or that students were primarily using this route to stay in the UK for reasons unrelated to work experience. Additionally, the report found no evidence that the route was undermining the quality of UK universities.

The findings will no doubt be welcomed by universities and international students. However, the review did acknowledge the impact of the recent policy change on student dependants.

Since January 2024, dependants of most students can no longer accompany them to the UK unless they are enrolled in research-oriented postgraduate programmes. This has caused a significant drop in Student visa applications. The MAC highlighted the potential negative consequences of this policy on the appeal of UK universities for international students.

Overall, the MAC recommended retaining the Graduate Route in its current form. They emphasised its role in attracting talented graduates who can contribute to the UK workforce. It also suggested the Government reassess the policy on dependants, acknowledging the potentially detrimental implications for international recruitment efforts.

The Home Office is currently considering the MAC’s report and recommendations. The future of the Graduate Route, particularly regarding dependants, remains to be seen, but the May 2024 report has provided a positive outlook for the scheme’s continued existence.


Need assistance?


DavidsonMorris are UK immigration specialists. If you have any questions about the Graduate Route, the MAC review or any other aspect of UK immigration for students and graduates, contact us.



Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

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