UK extends stay for graduating international students
Graduates will be able to remain for two years to find work after reversal of four-month limit imposed by former home secretary May
International students will be able to stay in the United Kingdom for two years after graduating to find work
International students will be able to stay in the United Kingdom for two years after graduating to find work, the Britsh Home Office has announced.
British prime Minister Boris Johnson said the changes, due to come into effect for those starting courses next year, would help those studying in Britain to begin their careers in the United Kingdom.
In 2012 a decision by then-home secretary Theresa May meant overseas students had to depart the country four months after completing a degree.
Now, international students who have successfully completed a course in any subject at an institution with a track record in upholding immigration checks will be able to benefit from the measures.
They will apply to students who start courses in 2020/21 at undergraduate level or above.
The announcement coincides with the launch of the world’s largest genetics project, the £200 million (€223 million) whole genome sequencing project in the UK Biobank, which aims to transform genetic research.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The new Graduate Route will mean talented international students, whether in science and maths or technology and engineering, can study in the UK and then gain valuable work experience as they go on to build successful careers.
“It demonstrates our global outlook and will ensure that we continue to attract the best and brightest.”
However Alp Mehmet, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said it was an “unwise” and “retrograde” step that would “likely lead to foreign graduates staying on to stack shelves, as happened before”.
“Our universities are attracting a record number of overseas students so there is no need to devalue a study visa by turning it into a backdoor route for working here.”
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: “Labour has always said graduates should be able to work here after their studies because it enables them to contribute to our economy, our universities and to research, and helps us to attract the brightest and best from around the world.
“It is a great pity that ministers have previously supported measures that did the opposite.
“But it also highlights the foolishness of Government plans to place a salary limit on work visas at £30,000,” she said.
“Many of the graduates doing fantastic medical and other research earn less than that. Government policy will prevent us from attracting them to live and work here.” – PA