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The New UK Post-study Work Visa: 5 Things You Need To Know


With the latest news that international students can now get a two-year work visa after graduating from an approved UK Higher Education provider, you might be tempted to pursue your dreams there.

Apart from the UK’s wide array of reputable universities, strong academic standing and home to cities steeped in culture and history, the latest work visa update will definitely influence an international student’s destination choice.

For those who are looking to fulfil their career goals in the UK, you would definitely consider this measure, also known as the Graduate Immigration Route, as an opportunity.

In fact, the availability of a post-study work visa under the initiative is in contrast to the previous policy - which allowed graduates to look for work in the UK for only four months - and now presents an attractive option for international students seeking long-term employment in the country.

Some of you might wonder: Is there a catch to this new initiative? Is it too good to be true? To that, we’ve rounded up the key aspects that you should know about the new UK post-study work visa measures.

  • The new policy has no cap on student numbers

In case you’re thinking that there will be a cap on the total number of international students who would be offered the two-year work visa, there is none set at the moment. The latest updates from the UK government states that as long as international students graduate in the summer of 2021 or after, they will be able to apply for the route. This applies to students who have already started their courses before then, whether they have began their study adventure in the UK or online first before then travelling.

According to the UK’s Home Office, those who graduate and whose Tier 4 leave expires before the new route is introduced will not be eligible.

  • Any subject or skill-set is eligible for the two-year Work Visa

Unlike certain requirements in other countries where only graduates in specific fields can apply for a work visa, the current measure allows graduates in the UK to apply for jobs regardless of the subjects they pursued.

Essentially, the Graduate Immigration Route is 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.

  • 2020/21 intake of students can start to benefit

According to a report by The PIE News, Home Office head of Student Migration Policy, Paul Jeffrey, mentioned that the UK government can say “with absolute certainty” that any student enrolling in 2020/21 will benefit. Those who are currently studying and are expected to graduate from the summer of 2021 onwards will also benefit.

Be sure to take benefit by booking an appointment with one of our counsellors, or register for our virtual events.

  • Students can switch to a skilled work visa after two years

For graduates who managed to find employment, they will be able to switch to a skilled work visa after two years - as long as the job can meet the skill requirement of the route.

  • The new policy is part of the UK’s fresh take on global talent

Other announcements have seen the UK welcoming global talent, including the creation of a new fast-track visa for scientists and removing the limit on PhD students who attempt to embark on the skilled work visa route.

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