The UK Home Office formally launched its new post-study work visa for international students on Thursday, allowing graduates from India and other countries to apply for the opportunity to remain on for working experience at the conclusion of their studies.
The Graduate route visa, introduced by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel last year, is now open for applications and is likely to assist Indian students in particular, who are known to pick their degree degrees primarily on the potential of work experience. The Graduate route is intended for overseas graduates who have received their degree from a recognised UK university and wish to remain in the UK for at least two years while looking for work.
Preeti Patel, talking to the PTI, 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,”
She also 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.”
International graduates must have completed an approved degree at a UK higher education provider with a track record of adhering to the government’s immigration regulations to be eligible for the new route. It is unsponsored, which means that applicants do not require a job offer to apply, and they may continue on for up to two years while looking for work.
There are no minimum wage criteria or cap on the number of graduates who may participate in the programme, allowing them to work flexibly, move companies, and advance their careers as needed.
Patel added, “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,”
If students started courses in 2020 and were unable to travel owing to the pandemic, a coronavirus concession on the date by which they must enter the UK to qualify for the route was subsequently increased. Applicants who started their studies in the fall of 2020 or the spring of 2021 must be in the UK on a student visa by September 27 of this year. Students who begin their studies later this year or early next year must be in the United Kingdom by April 6, 2022.
This has been welcomed by Indian student organisations in the UK, who were worried by India’s inclusion on the red list of nations from which travel is presently prohibited, forcing Indian students to quarantine at great expense.
The new path, which is part of the new post-Brexit points-based immigration system, is aligned with the UK’s Global Britain theme of recruiting the finest talent from across the world and spans the whole country. To know more about the new route, read the article below: