The UK government on Wednesday announced a two-year post-study work visa for all international students who will be coming into the country from the academic year 2020-21.

This new graduate immigration route will be open for all international students — including those from India — who have completed a degree at an undergraduate level or above at an institution approved by UK Higher Education Provider. “This route will allow international students stay in the UK after they complete their studies for a period of up to 2 years to work, to look for work and there will be no restrictions on the type and the level of employment which they can take during that period,” said Jan Thompson, British Deputy High Commissioner to India.

However, the period is non-extendable and does not count towards settlement but those graduates who find an appropriate job and meet the requirement will be able to switch to skilled work which is a route to settlement. This two-year post-study work visa is bringing back a similar facility that was in existence till 2012.

Those students whose leave expires before the route is introduced will not be eligible for it. The fees for the new work visa will be set out in due course.

It is a very positive development as the number of Indian students who are coming to the UK for higher education is on the rise, added Thompson.

According to the statistics provided by the UK Visas and Immigration, around 22,000 Indian students got tier-4 study visa in the year ending June 2019. This number was 42 per cent higher compared to 15,000 students who received the visa the previous year.

Overall, around 610, 000 Indian nationals were granted a UK visa last year — over 1 in 5 of all the visas that were granted.

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