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UK Visa Extension: Students can stay & Work for 2 year after Degree Completion

The British government has announced a 2-year extension for foreign students studying in the UK, allowing them to look for jobs and advance their career growth. Earlier, foreign students were forced to leave the UK within four months of completing their degrees

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The Boris Johnson-led British government, on Wednesday, announced plans for post-Brexit immigration and visa facilities, allowing international students to work in the UK for two years after their graduation. This news has been welcomed by foreign students from across the world, and it is applicable to all students pursuing their undergraduate degree or above from 2020 onwards.

The British government stated that this decision has been taken to “attract and retain the brightest and best talent” from across the globe.

Two-year Visa Extension for Students

This decision has been widely celebrated by foreign students currently enrolled in institutions across the UK, alongside students preparing to enroll themselves in programmes. This decision as marked an end to the terribly restricting scheme introduced by then British home secretary Theresa May, which forced foreign students to leave the UK within four months of finishing their degree.

A statement issued by the UK Department of Education noted that the new immigration facility will allow foreign graduates of any field to stay in the UK for another two years, and find suitable jobs.

In order to avail this extension, students will have to successfully complete their degrees from a recognized university or higher education institution in the UK, with an extensive track record in abiding by immigration rules and regulations imposed in the country.

There are so many new skills and new industries that are just now emerging, and we do want to be able to attract a global talent pool of people.

The UK Department of Education said, “The new immigration route will be available to international students who have successfully completed a course in any subject at undergraduate level or higher at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance, and have Tier 4 [student visa] leave at the point the route is introduced. This includes students who start courses in 2020-21 at the undergraduate level or above.”

Commenting on the decision, Gavin Williamson, the UK Education Secretary said, “It is a testament to our world-leading universities that so many students from abroad want to study here. The important contribution international students make to our country and universities is both cultural and economic.”

Williamson added, “Their presence benefits Britain, which is why we’ve increased the period of time these students can remain in the UK after their studies.”

“Brightest & Best” from Global Talent Pool

Speaking to the BBC radio, Andrea Leadsom, UK Business Secretary, observed that this change in visa arrangements has been allowed in a bid to attract “the brightest and the best” from talent pools across the world.

She added that it is a sign that the United Kingdom intends to pursue an ambitious strategy once it has left the European Union. Leadsom said, as cited by AFP, “Instead of being open to free movement from just the (EU), the United Kingdom will be able to take advantage of a global talent pool … and that’s something that’s a great advantage for us.”

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Leadsom noted that the two-year period will help students find the right job that compliments their degree and ambitions. She added, “There are so many new skills and new industries that are just now emerging, and we do want to be able to attract a global talent pool of people.”

Sajid Javid, Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove & Chancellor of the Exchequer, commended the decision, saying, “About time. Should have reversed this silly policy years ago. Britain should always be open to the best talent from across the world.”

Times Higher Education reported that Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive Universities UK, regarded the decision as a “very positive” development for international students and the UK.

Jarvis said, “Evidence shows that international students bring significant positive social outcomes to the UK as well as £26 billion in economic contributions, but for too long the lack of post-study work opportunities in the UK has put us at a competitive disadvantage in attracting those students.”

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He added, “The introduction of a two-year post-study work visa is something Universities UK has long campaigned for and we strongly welcome this policy change, which will put us back where we belong as a first-choice study destination.”

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