The UK Home Office on Thursday formally announced 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 in the country for job experiences at the end of their university courses.
The Graduate route visa, 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. It 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.
To apply under the new Graduate route, international students must have completed an eligible course at a recognised UK higher education provider at an undergraduate or higher level, with a track record of compliance with the government’s immigration requirements. 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.
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.
A coronavirus concession on the date by which students must enter the UK to qualify for the route if they started courses in 2020 and are unable to travel due to the pandemic, was recently extended. 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.