UK Post-Study Work Visa Rules Relaxed for International Students

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Piyush
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jul 2, 2021 22:36 IST

Recent update: The UK Home Office has formally opened its new post-study work visa (graduate route visa) for international students. This will officially allow Indian and other international students to stay in the UK for work after completing their study courses.

UK authorities have recently announced reinstating the two-year post-study work visa for international UK graduates. The new immigration rule announced by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be great news for Indian and international students planning to pursue higher studies in the UK. Previosuly, international students pursuing Bachelor's or Master's degree in the UK can stay for only four months after completing their degree. Only international students studying in 27 universities which are part of the pilot scheme can stay back for six months.

Candidates applying for courses in 2020-21 can avail the benefits of the new immigration rule. The new rule allows students to look for work opportunities or work in the UK for a period of two years after completing their degree. In order to regain its lost glory in the higher education domain, the authorities have not put any limit on the number of students who can apply for the newly announced graduate route.

The scheme was scrapped by the former British Prime Minister Theresa May in 2012 making the UK less attractive amongst the international students. This led to a sharp decline in the number of Indian students going to pursue higher studies in the UK from 51,218 in 2010 – 2011 to 22,757 in 2011-2012. However, the number gradually improves to 21,881 in the year 2017-18. The announcement further said that the UK government would also consider "how the visa process could be improved for applicants and supporting student employment."

This move will not only benefit prospective international students wish to pursue higher studies in the UK but also equally benefit the UK economically. According to the Education Minister Gavin Williamson “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.”

Graduate Route: What you need to know

The Graduate Route is a new UK post-study work visa that has been introduced for international students graduating in summer 2021 or later. It allows international students to live and work in the UK for up to two years after completing their degree.

The Graduate Route was first announced on September 2019, then October 2019. Home Office policy staff are working on the scheme and might publish details regarding it around May or June this year. If you are making about your study in the UK based on the Graduate Route, you need to be aware that there will not be any reliable information on Graduate Route until the Immigration Rules are published. The Home Office gas clarified that this will not happen before April 2021 as currently they are designing and implementing a whole new immigration system to come into force by January 2021.

Key announcements

  • The new immigration rule will be open to international students who completed a degree at the undergraduate level or above at a higher educational institution with a track record of compliance.
  • Successful applicants through this route will be able to stay and work in any sector or any level in the UK for two years. Also, the visa cannot be extended but graduates will be able to switch into skilled work after finding a suitable job.
  • Students entering the UK for the academic year 2020-21 will be eligible for this route. Students who have current Tier 4 leave when the new route is introduced may also benefit from it. However. Students whose Tier 4 visa expires before the introduction of the route will not be eligible for the post-study work visa.
  • The route will require an in-country application. Application fee and an Immigration Health Surcharge payment will be applicable.
  • Doctoral Ph.D. students will be eligible for three years stay back.

Popular questions asked by students:

Q. What is the UK Student visa fee?

A. The application fee for a UK Student Visa (Tier 4) is INR 30,039.

Q. What is the UK student visa processing time?

A. Generally, it takes three weeks to process a UK visa. 

Q. How difficult it is to get a UK student visa?

A. There are certain requirements which the aspirant needs to fulfill for getting a Student Visa. For those who wish to study a full-time degree program needs to apply for a Student Visa, as it is not issued for pursuing part-time courses. Learn everything about the UK Student Visa

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About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio

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