Your privacy is important to us.
On 11 September 2019 the UK government overturned a keystone of ex-PM Theresa May’s restrictive immigration policies by announcing plans to introduce a new two-year post-study work visa which will expand opportunities for skilled international students to build successful careers in the UK.
This is intended to build on UK government action to help recruit and retain the best and brightest global talent, as well as laying foundations for future breakthroughs in science, technology and research.
This new change will enable talented international students to study in the UK and then spend more time in the UK after completing their degree, allowing them to gain further skills and experience. After the two-year period has elapsed, the individual will be able to switch to the skilled work visa if they find a role which meets the necessary skill threshold.
The new immigration route will be open to international students who have completed a course in any subject at undergraduate level or higher with a track record of compliance and have tier 4 visa in time for the 2020/21 intake of students to university.
The eligibility status of each higher education institution is shown in the publicly available register of licenced sponsors on GOV.UK website.
Under the new policy, the visas would have no ceiling on numbers and would allow graduates to apply for jobs regardless of the subjects that they studied.
Currently, graduates with bachelors or master’s degree are allowed to work for only four months.
Gavin Williamson, the UK education secretary lauded the announcement: “The important contribution international students make to our country and universities is both cultural and economic. Their presence benefits Britain, which is why we’ve increased the period of time these students can remain in the UK after their studies”.
Last year UK universities educated around 460,000 international students from outside the EU. The government aims to grow this number to 600,000 over the next 10 years.
An estimated 14% of all university income is from the substantial fees paid by foreign students. Evidence shows that international students bring £26bn to the UK in economic contributions. This figure can only increase if obstacles to post-work study opportunities in the UK are removed.
This announcement come after the creation of a new fast-track visa route for scientists and the removal of the limit on PhD students moving into the skilled work visa route, which collectively aim to place the UK as a science superpower and global leader in the STEM sector.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor. Immigration is a complex area of law for both corporates and individuals. Please contact our Business Immigration / Employment Team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin for further advice or information.