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The Graduate Immigration Route and its Impact on International Students in the UK

  • The Graduate Immigration Route and its Impact on International Students in the UK

The United Kingdom’s recent announcement of a new visa route for international students has provided a bit of relief from the doom and gloom situation. It gave hope to the return of halcyon days of the Tier 1(Post Study Worker) visa, a 2-year permit for students that allows them to work and boosting the country’s appeal to the foreign student market.

The Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa category was dismissed in 2012. Now, after 7 years, the UK government announced the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route that will enable international students to stay in the country after completing their studies. It will be available to the international students who have completed a degree at the undergraduate level or above and have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time of application. Graduates will be able to switch into skilled work after they get a suitable job.

Let us talk about it in detail.

When does the new Graduate Immigration Route open?

The new Graduate Immigration Route will open in the summer of 2021. It means that students who graduate in the summer of 2021 or after will be able to look for jobs. It also includes those students who have already started their course. The opening of the graduate immigration route shows the UK government’s support for its education sector and its commitment to the International Education strategy that aims to increase the education exports to £30 billion. The government also seeks to increase the number of international students to 650,000 by 2031.

Who can benefit?

Students, who complete their degrees at a qualifying institution in the 2021 summer or after, will be eligible. Students whose Tier 4 visa expires before the introduction of the immigration route will not be eligible.

Is sponsorship necessary?

The answer is NO! Fortunately, no sponsorship is required because the graduate immigration route is freestanding. Besides this, students will not need a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) anymore.

What type of jobs can be taken on this visa?

Well, the answer to this question is, ‘pretty much anything!’ the visa will be granted for 2 years, and students can take up any employment at any skill level. Once the student’s visa comes to an end of the 2 years, they will be able to switch the same into ‘skilled work.’

When can students apply?

Students cannot apply until the summer of 2021. Students graduating before 2021 are not eligible to apply, and neither former student can apply. Understandably, students are feeling miffed after learning what they have missed out.

The introduction of the graduate immigration route by the UK government brings some good and some bad news. Where this 2-year visa will be allowing upcoming international students to get their foot in the door of the UK employment market, there it is not allowing the existing international students to work after their studies.

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