First announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel in 2020, the new UK Post-Study Visa was officially launched by the UK government on 1 July 2021.
It is designed to help international students who graduate from UK universities find jobs by enabling them to apply for up to two years of UK right to remain.
The new route is anticipated to be of particular help to Indian citizens, who frequently select their course of study in accordance with its post-graduation employment prospects.
Priti Patel said:
“To put it into some context, last year more than 56,000 Indian nationals were granted a student visa, that’s a 13 per cent increase on the previous year, and that is almost now a quarter of all student visas issued by the UK.”
Benefits to Indians
Ms Patel added:
“When you think about those numbers, think about the totality in terms of how this route will benefit India, it’s a very, very big move, and we will continue to work with the various academic institutions on making this route viable.”
To be eligible for a Post-Study Visa, prospective applicants must have completed a recognised course at a UK higher education provider and have consistently followed UK immigration laws.
The route does not require sponsorship, and possessing a job offer is not part of the eligibility criteria. Additionally, there are no minimum salary requirements nor is there a limit on the number of people who can apply. It is intended to give graduates the ability to work flexibly, change occupation and expand their career opportunities.
“As we build back better, it is vital that the UK continues to be a beacon for talented young people across the globe who want to make a difference. The new Graduate route does just that, giving the best and brightest graduates the opportunity to continue contributing to the UK’s prosperity and the freedom to kickstart their careers in the UK.”
Alongside this, Minister for Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster has announced an extension to a coronavirus visa concession, meaning it will now last until April 2022. Applicants who began their studies in autumn 2020 or spring 2021 are required to be in the UK on a Student Visa by 27 September 2021.
Students who commence their studies this calendar year will need to be in the country by 6 April 2022. The move has been welcomed by Indian student groups in the UK who were concerned about the potential impact of India being placed on the UK’s COVID-19 travel red list.
“Many other countries do not offer that microcosm, foundation of diaspora community, natural heritage, all the cultural links, all the values that we share between our two countries. That puts us in a very strong position, both for Indian students coming here and securing their future opportunities in the workplace.”
It is hoped that the launch of the new graduate route will support the government’s ‘Global Britain’ approach, which centres on attracting talent from around the world.
Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, said:
“International students are a vital part of our society, and those who graduate from our world-leading universities should have the opportunity to stay and build meaningful careers here in the UK.”
“That is why we are introducing this new route for international graduates, enabling British businesses to attract and retain some of the brightest, most talented graduates across the globe, and helping this nation build back better from the pandemic.”
The Chief Executive of the UK Council for International Student Affairs, Anne Marie Graham, said:
“We know that employability is a priority for international students coming to study in the UK. International students who are able to access this route will have the flexibility to apply for work in any sector or role that fits their skills profile, including self-employment without the need for employer sponsorship.”
How we can help
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The new Post-Study Visa is designed to help international students find graduate employment by providing them with two years of UK right to remain. [Image: Unsplash]
Anne Marie Graham, Chief Executive of the UK Council for International Student Affairs, has praised the flexibility that the new route provides. [Image: FENews]
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