UK brings back 2-year post-study work visa; to benefit thousands of Indian students
London, Sep 11: There is good news for students going to Britain for studying as the UK government on Wednesday announced a new two-year post-study work visa route for all international students.
The new "Graduate" route will launch for the 2020-21 intake of students to university.
It is open to all overseas nationals who have valid UK immigration status as a student and have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at undergraduate level or above at a government-approved UK higher education institution.
The visa will allow eligible students to work, or crucially look for work, in any career or position of their choice, for two years after completing their studies.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has effectively reinstated a policy ended by his predecessor Theresa May around nine years ago, said the change would see students "unlock their potential" to begin careers in the UK.
"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," said UK home secretary Priti Patel, the senior-most Indian-origin member of Johnson's Cabinet.
"It demonstrates our global outlook and will ensure that we continue to attract the best and brightest," she said.
The UK ended its two-year post-study work visa offer during May's term as UK home secretary in 2012, widely seen as responsible for a major drop in student numbers from countries like India.
Indian students coming to the UK registered a hike over the last three years, hitting around 22,000 in the year ending June 2018. This was a 42 per cent increase on the previous year, a reversal from a downward trend in the past.
According to official UK figures, almost half of all Indian students 130,000 since 2008-09 heading to the UK in the last 10 years chose a STEM subject.