Studying in the United Kingdom has always been quite the attraction for international students and here’s another great reason why you should study in UK. This week saw a great change in UK visa policy, the office chose to depart from Theresa May’s much rigid and strict policy. In 2012 as the then Home Secretary, May introduced a
policy that forced overseas students to leave four months after finishing a degree. The new policy allows for students to have a two-year work permit once they graduate. This is a much-welcomed change, especially for those who find it hard to secure a job within a restricted four-month period. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said that this change would see students “unlock their potential” and begin careers in the UK. Unlike his predecessor, who chose a hostile environment around migration rules, Boris Johnson has promised to scrap that target and encourage the brightest and best to come study and live and work in global Britain.
Here is a list of student questions that we will now answer regarding this new upcoming change.
- Why was this policy changed?
There has been a push from the business and education sectors to relax the rules for international students. The issue of student work visas was reportedly a regular point of contention between May and some members of her cabinet, including the former home secretary Sajid Javid. The new government defines its approach to post-Brexit immigration as wanting to attract the “best and brightest” with a focus on so-called skilled migration. This policy fits perfectly into that narrative.
- How was this policy received in the United Kingdom?
The announcement was greeted with enthusiasm by the education sector and business, which is braced for a fall in the number of students and prospective employees from the EU when freedom of movement comes to an end after Brexit.
Jasmine Whitbread, the chief executive of London First, a pro-business campaign group, said: “Universities and businesses alike will welcome this commonsense move, which will ensure that we retain global brainpower.”
- When will it become effective?
The government said it planned to introduce the change next year for students coming in to UK. This means it will be effective for everyone going to Britain on Study Visa from 2020 onwards.
- How will it work?
Unlike in Canada, what the UK government is planning to do is that students will have to come back and then apply for a work permit. There will be no holding back or restrictions on what type of job one wants to do nor will there be any sort of bias against any of the graduate who applies for this type of visa.
After completing the two years, if one still wants to stay in the UK, they can extend their visa again.
- Can students then apply for permanent residency?
A usual degree in the United Kingdom requires a three-year time period for it to be completed. After a two-year work permit, one can apply again to extend their visa. If one can prove that they have worked in the UK for five years then they can apply for Permanent Residency. One year after getting PR, one can also apply for citizenship.
- How many international students are there in the United Kingdom?
Last year, British universities educated about 460,000 international students, including those from the EU. The government aims to increase the number to 600,000 over the next 10 years.