On 11 September 2019 the UK Government announced the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies. This will be called The Graduate Immigration Route.
The Government has published a Fact Sheet, including Frequently-Asked-Questions, on the new Graduate Immigration Route.
Key points are:
The Graduate Immigration Route will be available to international students who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance and who have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time of application
Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for a maximum period of two years. Graduates will be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job
The new route will be launched in the summer of 2021, meaning that any eligible student who graduates in the summer of 2021 or after will be able to apply for the route. This includes students who have already started their courses
The graduate immigration route will require a new application
It will include the payment of a visa fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge. The exact fee will be set out in due course
Those who graduate and whose Tier 4 leave expires before the route is introduced will not be eligible, however, most of these students will have had no expectation of benefitting from such a route when they applied to study in the UK.
This proposal is excellent news for our international students graduating from 2021 and future applicants looking to stay for an additional 2 years in the UK post-graduation to look for and /or take up work at any skill level.