UK Government Announces Return of Post Study Work Permit

UK Government Announces Return of Post Study Work Permit
In a recent announcement, the UK government declared publicly the return of the post-study work permit, also referred to as the graduate immigration route.

This is encouraging news for all international students with plans to study at an undergraduate or postgraduate level and could affect around 460,000 students.

Originally removed by Theresa May in 2012 in what many say were ‘hostile immigration reforms’, this new visa allows graduates to remain in the UK for two years after graduation so they can find employment.

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According to Home Secretary Priti Patel, this new visa 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. It demonstrates our global outlook and will ensure that we continue to attract the best and brightest.”

What do we know about the post-study work visa?
The Home Office only recently announced the return of this work visa, so full details are yet to be unveiled.

Here is what we know so far:

The post-study work visa will be open to Tier 4 visa students who are enrolling for the 2020/2021 academic year. International students currently studying in the UK will not be eligible.

To be eligible, you must have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK higher education institution. You must be able to demonstrate your track records in immigration checks.

You will then have two years in which you can find employment within the UK. Once you have found a job, you can switch from the post-work study visa to the Tier 2 Skilled visa where appropriate and start your career.

There are no restrictions on what type of job you are seeking, which degree subject you have studied or the salary level, nor is there a limit to the number of visas which can be issued.

How will the post-study work permit impact the UK economy?
The reintroduction of this visa means that the UK can continue to benefit from the brightest talent from across the globe and extend a warmer welcome to students from across the world.

It will also ensure that UK universities can continue to benefit from the estimated £26 million that international students contribute to the economy each year, whilst also encouraging new investment from overseas.

Employers will also be able to adjust their graduate programme and entry-level recruitment to benefit from the changes to immigration law.

What if you’re currently a Tier 4 student and want to benefit from the changes?

Although the post-study work permit is aimed towards international students studying from 2020 onwards, there remain many other options that could help you extend your stay in the UK.

These include:

● Extending your Tier 4 visa: You could extend your existing Tier 4 visa to continue your course or start a new one. You must be sponsored by the course provider and make your application within strict timescales.

● Applying for a Tier 2 (General) visa: If you find a licensed sponsor, you can work in the UK for up to five years. However, this route can be restrictive for the applicant, role and employer.

● Exceptional Talent visa & tech schemes: If you meet the high technical and skill requirements, you might be eligible to apply for the Exceptional Talent visa. Please seek professional advice for your circumstances.

● Start Up visa: A new visa, this allows you to switch your visa whilst in the UK if you’re starting a viable business. You must be endorsed before applying.

● Tier 1 Investor visa: You can apply for the investor visa provided you meet the strict rules.

● Family relationship basis: You also have many options if you have ties to the UK in the form of long-term relationships such as civil partnerships and spouse visas. There are strict rules regarding this type of visa so seek professional advice.

Need more information or help with the post study work visa?
If you’d like further information or advice on the post-study work visa or any other UK visas, please contact us here at Murria Solicitors. We have a well-established immigration Law department and can help you find the best solution for your specific circumstance.