COVID exemptions on visa restrictions regarding a requirement to stay in the UK to study will be extended until 6 April 2022 for the next intake, announced UK Minister for Immigration Kevin Foster on 1st July – the day the new Graduate Route formally launched.
As a result of the news, freshly arrived overseas students will be allowed to begin studying remotely if their health and visa requirements need it, while still being eligible for employment privileges after graduation.
“Those are the regulations that apply to blended learning and remote learning, for example,” Foster said to participants at the UKCISA Conference.
“We want to avoid a spike in travel in late September and early October, not least because a number of our most important markets for international students, India, Pakistan, and I believe Nigeria, remain on both the UK government and the devolved administrations’ red lists, requiring them to enter managed hotel quarantine upon arrival in the UK.”
He added, “to put it simply, we do not feel that using a big amount of bandwidth in a few weeks for that (quarantine) reason is a suitable path forward,” he added. It wouldn’t be very beneficial for colleges to handle the entrance of their students via the test in such large numbers
Foster emphasized that the government will advise students to use April 6 as a deadline, not a target for arrival. According to the current guidelines, students who began their degrees in the fall of 2020 or the spring of 2021 must be in the UK by September 27.
“We welcome the news that the UK government will extend the existing time-limited discounts to help students seeking to study in the 2021-22 academic year,” said UKCISA chief executive Anne Marie Graham. “This gives foreign students vital comfort, and it allows UKCISA and our members to provide clear and timely advice and support to international students at this critical point of the student application cycle.”
Stephanie Smith, the Russel Group’s head of policy, adding, “this is a reasonable measure that will help safeguard student and community health.”
According to Susan Fang of Oxbridge Holdings Inc., this suggests Indian candidates may be more secure in accepting offers. “Given the circumstances, it’s the finest choice the administration could have made,” she added.
All people who have completed a bachelor’s degree or above are eligible for the graduate program. It allows students to work or search for jobs at any level after graduation without having to be sponsored.
Foster reminded the industry that graduate applications may only be made in the UK and by individuals who have genuine student authorization.
Read more about this potential grad route that recently opened up to international students: