UK REINTRODUCES TWO-YEAR-POST-STUDY WORK VISA: WHAT THIS MEANS FOR INDIAN STUDENTS?
Cheers! There is good news for all those Indian students who have been experiencing a sense of caution and despair with regards to advancing their current level of education in the UK. The palpability is justified and understandable in the wake of the abolishment of the two-year post-study work visa by the erstwhile UK government in the year 2012, and the impending Brexit.
The recent change of guard in the UK political establishment has reinstated the ‘two-year-post-study- work visa with effect from Autumn 2020. This announcement, by all means, is set to suitably favor Indian students.
Here is a breakdown of the existing and proposed graduate-visa-route.
What does the current visa rule say?
While the US and the UK are renowned for attracting the best and the brightest of academic and professional talents, Indian students have always considered the US and the UK as dream destinations for pursuing their higher education. But, the political developments over the last five years in these two nations have been far from conducive for Indian students, to give wings to their academic dreams and initiate their professional careers in their most favored destinations.
International students pursuing education in the UK need to have a Tier 4 visa. This visa is essential for studying in the UK. In the current scenario, an Indian student pursuing varied levels of education (undergraduate, graduate) in the UK is permitted to stay back in the country only for a period of four months upon completion of education, while an aspirating doctorate student could stay back for a year post completion of studies.
What this means is that a student cannot either seek employment or continue to work beyond four months upon completing his or her ongoing education.
What happens now? Is there a cap? Who is likely to benefit?
With the reinstatement of the two-year-post-study work visa, aspiring undergraduates, graduates, PhDs, planning to enroll for degree courses in the autumn of 2020, will once again be able to stay back in the UK for two years -after completion of their respective degrees to look for suitable employment or upskill themselves.
There will not be any kind of a cap on the number of students who can apply for this newly announced immigration route. This route is applicable to all categories of employment: skilled, unskilled, etc.
What about the state of the current students?
Those students who would be in the middle of their courses at the time of implementation of this new route will also be eligible to stay back in the UK for two years post studies. Students whose Tier 4 leave is likely to expire before the implementation of the new visa route will not be eligible to avail of the two-year-work-visa.
Students scheduled to graduate prior to the implementation of the new route and have their Tier 4 leave intact will be eligible to apply for a transfer to the new work visa.
What is the current status of the new visa route?
Currently, talks are on to accommodate those students who would be graduating before September 2020.
Whether the impending Brexit augurs a ‘deal’ or a ‘no deal’ exit for the UK, only time will tell, but, Indian students desirous of pursuing degree courses in the UK in the ensuing year (2020) – have surely been presented with a deal of a lifetime!
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