The United Kingdom Home Office today formally opened its new post-study work visa for international students, which would offer overseas graduates from India and other destinations the option to apply for the right to stay on for job experience at the end of their university courses.
The Graduate route visa which was announced last year by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, is now open for applications from this week and is expected to particularly benefit Indian students, who are known to choose their degree courses based on the prospect of work experience.
Students from India are specifically known to choose their degree courses based on the prospect of work experience.
In a statement, Patel said: “Under the UK Government’s points-based immigration system, talented students from India and across the globe now have the opportunity to kick start their careers in the UK at the highest levels of business, science, technology and the arts.”
The Graduate route is designed for international graduates who have been awarded their degree from a recognised UK university to stay on and look for work for at least two years.
“Under the UK Government’s points-based immigration system, talented students from India and across the globe now have the opportunity to kick start their careers in the UK at the highest levels of business, science, technology and the arts,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement.
It is unsponsored, meaning applicants do not need a job offer to apply and crucially they can use a two-year period to stay on and look for a job. There are no minimum salary requirements or caps on numbers, allowing graduates on the route to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required.
“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,” said Patel.
Applicants who began their studies in autumn 2020 or in spring 2021 will need to be in the UK on a student visa by September 27 this year. Students beginning their course later this year or early next year will need to be in the UK by April 6, 2022.
Anne Marie Graham, Chief Executive of UK Council for International Student Affairs, said: “We know that employability is a priority for international students coming to study in the UK.
To apply under the new Graduate route, international students must have completed an eligible course at a recognised UK higher education provider at undergraduate or higher level. Students on the route will be able to work or look for work after their studies for a maximum period of two years, or three years for Doctoral PhD students.