On July 2, 2021, the UK Home Office had a formal opening of its newly introduced post-study work visa for international students. This visa would offer overseas graduates the opportunity to apply for the right to continue to live in the UK after their study in UK to get the experience of working in the country.
The Graduate Route Visa
It was last year when the Graduate Route visa was announced by Priti Patel, the UK Home Secretary. This visa route is now open for applications.
The Graduate route is designed for international graduates holding a degree awarded by a recognized British university. It helps students to continue living in the UK and seek work for a minimum of 2 years.
To be eligible to participate in the new route, international graduates have to complete a course deemed eligible at an institute for higher education in the UK. The candidates must have a track record of complying with the immigration requirements the UK government has set for them.
This visa route is unsponsored. That means applicants have no need to have a job offer to apply for a visa. They can also use a 2-year period to continue living in the UK and search for a job.
There are no caps on the number of visas or minimum salary requirements. This allows graduates who completed their study in UK to work flexibly. They can switch jobs and build their career as they see fit.
A coronavirus concession granted was recently extended for these students. This applied to students who started their courses in 2020 and were supposed to enter the UK to be eligible for their route on a particular date but failed due to the COVID-19.
Applicants who began their study in UK in autumn 2020 or in spring 2021 must be present in the UK on a student visa by September 27, 2021. Students commencing their course later in 2021 or early 2022 will have to be in the UK by April 6, 2022.
The new route is part of the points-based system of UK immigration implemented post-Brexit. It’s implemented as part of the Global Britain message of roping in the best talent from across the world. It covers all parts of the UK.
To apply under the new Graduate route, international students must have completed a course deemed eligible at a recognized institution in the UK that provides higher education at levels of UG or higher. International students on the route can work or seek work after their study in UK for a maximum period of 2 years. This period is 3 years for Ph.D. students.
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