Rishi Sunak Confirms New Post-study Work Visa
It has been confirmed that a post-study work visa for international students will be introduced. From July, international students who have graduated with a Bachelor’s or higher will be able to stay in the UK for two years and those who have graduated with a PhD will be able to stay for three years.
First announced in by the Department of Education in 2019, the post-study work visa route has now been officially unveiled by the UK government.
In 2012, Theresa May’s government deemed the post-study work visa to be too generous and reduced its validity period from two years to four months. Soon after, the visa was scrapped altogether which, many have suggested, led to a decline in the number of international students in the UK.
The New Graduate Route
The new ‘Graduate route’ will be open to all international students from July of this year. Under this new scheme, graduates will be able to work, look for work and live in the UK after they have graduated, without the need for sponsorship or to apply for a separate visa.
Also, there will be no cap or minimum salary requirements for jobs, in contrast to other new visas such as the Skilled Worker Visa and Health and Care Worker Visa. Those living in the UK under this scheme will also be able to change jobs to further their career.
Graduates can live in the UK for up to two years under the Graduate route, or for three years as a PhD graduate, in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
A government statement said:
“The launch of the new Graduate route shows that the government is continuing to deliver on its key manifesto promise to implement a points-based immigration system, which will attract talent and ensure that businesses can recruit the most highly qualified from across the globe to drive the economy forwards.”
The move is part of a wider strategy to attract more international students to the UK. The government is aiming to attract 600,000 international students by 2030.
Further Concessions Due to Covid-19
The government also announced that there will be an extension to Covid-19 concessions for international students who are unable to travel to Britain due to the pandemic.
This extension means that applicants who started their studies in autumn of 2020 will now have until 21st June 2021 to enter the UK, extended from 6th April 2021, to be eligible for the Graduate route.
And those who begin their studies in January or February of 2021 will need to be in the UK by 27th September 2021 to be eligible.
The minister for Future Borders and Immigration, Kevin Foster, said:
“As we rebuild from the global pandemic we want the world’s brightest talent, who aspire to a career at the highest levels of business, science, the arts and technology to see our UK as the natural place to fulfil their aspirations.”
She went on to say:
“The changes will ensure once they [international students] have received a gold standard qualification from one of our world leading education institutions they can easily secure the status they need to continue living, working and fulfilling their dreams in the UK,”
Do you Need Immigration Advice?
Here at Birmingham Immigration Lawyers, we can help you to apply for the new Student Visa. Our highly experienced immigration lawyers can help you to formulate your application to the very highest standard.
Call us now on 0121 667 6530 to find out more.
Rishi Sunak set out the changes during his budget announcement last week. [Image credit: The Guardian]