The government has announced that a new path for UK graduates would open this summer as part of its overhaul of the UK immigration system, allowing former foreign national students to stay in the UK and gain jobs without the need for formal sponsorship. This is an ideal choice for companies looking to recruit graduates without incurring the cost of sponsorship upfront.
The UKVI announced on March 4, 2021, that applications for the latest graduate route would open on July 1, 2021. This visa, like its precursor, the Post Study Worker visa, is intended to help the UK attract the best and brightest foreign students by allowing them to continue to contribute to society and the economy once they finish their studies.
The Graduate Path comes as the government announced plans to introduce a new immigration route that will assist start-ups and fast-growing businesses in recruiting the talent they need to innovate and prosper in yesterday’s budget, as part of a slew of policies aimed at skilled migrants. Highly trained migrants with a work offer from a well-known established company would be eligible for a visa without the need for funding or third-party endorsement as part of the pathway.
International students must have successfully completed an eligible course at a UK higher education institution and have a track record of adhering to the UKVI’s immigration standards. International students must complete a bachelor’s degree or higher in the United Kingdom.
Students who receive a graduate visa will be free to work or search for work for a duration of two years after completing their studies, or three years for doctoral students.
Kevin Foster, the Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, said:
”We want the world’s best talent to see the United Kingdom as the natural place to pursue their dreams of working at the highest levels of industry, science, the arts, and technology. The reforms will make it easier for them to obtain the status they need to continue living, working, and pursuing their aspirations in the UK after they have earned a gold standard certification from one of our world-class educational institutions.”
The graduate programme is an unsponsored programme, which means that students do not require a job opportunity to apply. There are no pay minimums or limits on the number of candidates who may apply via this path. It gives you more freedom, allowing you to move jobs and advance your career as needed.
Employers may recruit graduates without the need for funding or related reporting obligations if they take this path. Employers should be aware, that if an applicant wishes to stay in the UK after their graduate visa expires, they will need to apply for a new visa. As a result, employers will be forced to sponsor employees in order to keep them.