Post-study work visa back in the U.K.

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

From next year, in­ter­na­tional stu­dents in the United King­dom — in­clud­ing In­di­ans — will be able to stay on af­ter grad­u­a­tion for a pe­riod of two years to work or look for work us­ing a new post-study work visa.

An­nounc­ing the new grad­u­ate im­mi­gra­tion route on Wed­nes­day, the Bri­tish govern­ment said the move would help to at­tract “the best and the bright­est” to the U.K. and ex­pand op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­ter­na­tional stu­dents to build suc­cess­ful ca­reers within the coun­try. Grad­u­ates may ap­ply with­out leav­ing the U.K.

It could also help to in­crease the num­ber of In­dian stu­dents head­ing to the U.K., which dropped dras­ti­cally af­ter a sim­i­lar visa was with­drawn in 2012.

The new visa is open to in­ter­na­tional stu­dents who hold valid stu­dent visas and have suc­cess­fully com­pleted a course at un­der­grad­u­ate level or above at a Bri­tish in­sti­tu­tion of higher ed­u­ca­tion which has a track record of com­pli­ance with the UK Home Of­fice’s im­mi­gra­tion rules.

Stu­dents en­ter­ing the UK in the 2020-21 aca­demic year in­take are ex­pected to be eligible, said a spokesper­son from the UK High Com­mis­sion in Delhi, adding that stu­dents who have en­tered the UK ear­lier but still hold a valid stu­dent visa at the be­gin­ning of the next aca­demic year are also likely to be eligible for the new route.

The visa will re­quire a new ap­pli­ca­tion in­clud­ing pay­ment of a new visa fee, the amount of which is yet to be de­ter­mined. The visa is not ex­tend­able be­yond a two-year pe­riod, and time spent in the UK on this visa will not count to­wards set­tle­ment. Visa-hold­ers will be al­lowed to work at any skill level. Once they find a suit­able job, they will be able to switch to a skilled work visa if they meet re­quire­ments.

Al­most 22,000 In­dian stu­dents got a UK visa in the year end­ing June 2019, a 42% in­crease from the 15,000 stu­dents who did so last year.

How­ever, this still lags far be­hind the highs of 2010-11, when 39,090 In­di­ans were granted stu­dent visas to the UK.

In 2012, then Home Sec­re­tary Theresa May scrapped the post-study work visa, claim­ing it was be­ing abused by bogus col­leges ex­ploit­ing in­ter­na­tional stu­dents, in­clud­ing those from In­dia. “Unlike the route which closed in 2012, this new route will also in­clude safe­guards to en­sure only gen­uine, cred­i­ble stu­dents are eligible,” said a state­ment from the High Com­mis­sion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.