The new UK post-study work visa

For International students with plans to pursue overseas studies in the UK, the new post-study work visa provides a fantastic opportunity to work in the UK post-graduation.

From Autumn 2020, international students who are studying at UK universities will have the opportunity to stay in the country for work after their graduation. To do so, students will need to apply for the recently approved Graduate Immigration Route.

This route is available for international students who have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time of application and have completed an undergraduate degree or above a recognised higher education institution.

Students whose applications are successful can look forward to staying and working in the UK in any position or skill level for a maximum of 2 years. After completing their 2 years, graduates can then look to apply for a skilled work visa which will allow them to continue their career in the UK and stay longer than the initial 2 years.

Announced in September 2019, this new visa category will be open to applicants from summer 2021, therefore, anyone commencing their degree this autumn (2020), and has a valid Tier 4 will be eligible to apply. If you're unsure about whether you are eligible for this visa, contact your study abroad consultants today who can provide more information.

While there has been a lack of information about the new visa for students interested in abroad studies, the UK recently released an updated guideline which confirmed that those studying by distance or remotely as a result of changes forced on universities by Covid-19 will be eligible to apply for the Graduate route so long as they are in the UK by 6 April 2021.

This is welcome news, considering the damaging impact on overseas students caused by Covid-19 which has prevented international students from travelling to the UK to pursue their studies. However, despite this, around 97% of UK universities have stated that studies will begin as normal in Septemeber, while some even plan to continue on-site teaching where possible, so long as they can implement safe practices and use technology as a measure to keep everyone as safe as possible.

While the Graduate Immigration Route is a new concept currently only allowing students to stay on after their studies for 2 years, this will likely increase to 4 shortly! Former universities minister Jo Johson recently published a paper that has called for this extension, allowing graduates to develop their careers in the UK while making a permanent contribution to society

Abroad studies in the UK were obviously impacted incredibly heavily by Covid-19 and the awful decision a few years ago to reduce the post-study work allowance to 4 months has been put right by this new change. We can only look on in hope that a 2-year post-study work allowance will be extended to 4 to allow the overseas students to improve their chances of staying in the UK long-term making the UK a more attractive place to study.

Allowing students to stay in the UK for longer, only stands to help the UK grow and evolve, keeping the best and brightest talent in the country. The UK can truly stand to benefit by extending the post-study work visa to 4 years and we hope that the UK government can genuinely see this too.

As an Overseas Education Consultant, we understand the pressures and stresses of students who study overseas. We're here to help, get in touch today if you're interested in pursuing a higher education degree at a UK university and let us provide a road map to your success.