UK changes post study visa norms, to allow foreign students two years from existing 4 months

UK changes post study visa norms, to allow foreign students two years from existing 4 months
Abhay Anand | Sep 11, 2019 - 5:28 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 11: In a bid to attract international students to the United Kingdom (UK), the UK Government has announced that it was reinstating the two-year post-study visa for foreign students. The Boris Johnson-led administration has planned to extend the work permit given to foreign students by two years.

The UK Government has decided to change the immigration policy which is a rollback on then home secretary Theresa May’s decision in 2012 to scrap post-study work visa. In January this year, British universities planned to accept more international students to tide over the financial crisis created by Brexit. University officials expected more students from India and China to join various courses at the UK universities. As the universities planned to accept more international students to pursue higher education, the British government was under pressure to loosen its immigration and post course work opportunities regulations.

Professor Anthony Forster, Vice-Chancellor, University of Essex said, “This is great news for UK universities like the University of Essex which are global in their outlook and have strong international communities of students and academics. I visited India recently and I know this will make a real difference to Indian students looking at studying in the UK. Now we are urging the UK Government to introduce this change immediately so we can start seeing all the positive impacts as soon as possible, from encouraging more talented Indian students to choose the UK to study through to helping UK businesses recruit the brightest and best graduates.”

Reportedly, the new Graduate route, will be put in place by next year, will allow foreign students with valid UK immigration status, who have completed undergraduate education in the UK to look for job opportunities. The recent move is likely to have a huge impact on international students going to the UK for higher education and in securing jobs and strengthen U.K’s position as one of the leading destinations for international students in the Brexit era.

Tom Birtwistle, Director North, British Council India on the matter said, “It is a welcome development for Indian students and UK education institutions alike! The new graduate immigration route supports the ambitions of Indian students, who, as we know, consider post-study work option as an important factor when making their choice of studying abroad. UK university campuses and classrooms are enriched by the presence of Indian students; the new visa policy giving students the chance to develop their careers in an international marketplace helps reconfirm the UK’s position as a world-leading destination for Indian students.”

Earlier, in 2012, the UK administration led by Theresa May cut the amount of time international students had to find a job in the U.K. from two years to four months. The move caused a reduction in the number of international students going to the UK, especially from India.

As per reports, between 2010-11 to 2016-17, the number of Indian students reduced by 50%, UK universities have also welcomed the government’s decision.

“Attracting talented Indian students is very important to UK universities and Essex is already one of a small number of universities taking part in a Government pilot which is allowing eligible Masters students starting their course in October 2019 to stay for six months after their studies to look for work in the UK,” said Professor Forster.

The UK has some of the top universities in the world. With as many as 75 universities ranked by the QS ranking 2019, the top universities in UK rank among the top 10 in the world.

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