The UK Government has announced plans to extend international students post-study visas from 4 months to two years.
Universities and the higher education sector have welcomed the change in rules which will allow foreign students to stay in the UK for up to two years after they graduate in order to seek employment. The new post-study work visa will come into effect for students who start their studies at undergraduate level or above from 2020.
There are approximately 300,000 international students studying in the UK who require visas with up to 185,000 graduating each year. In 2018 only around 6,000 moved onto skilled work visas, with many staying in education but the majority leaving.
According to the Higher Education Policy Institute just one cohort of international students brings in over £3 billion in tax revenue for the Government. A two-year extension to student visas will allow many more of these students to find high skilled jobs and contribute to our economy.
Nigel Evans, MP for Ribble Valley has welcomed the change in policy saying:
“It is fantastic that many more talented students will be given the opportunity to find work after they complete their studies.
“British Universities are amongst the best in the world and attract the highest achievers internationally, these graduates will bring a great boost to the UK economy.
“We must be pragmatic on immigration, we need to ensure a steady flow of highly skilled labour to the country who can contribute to society and the economy and recruiting from this pool of talented graduates is just what the UK needs”
The Secretary of state for Education, Gavin Williamson, said:
“The important contribution international students make to our country and universities is both cultural and economic.
“Our universities thrive on being open global institutions. Introducing the graduate route ensures our prestigious higher education sector will continue to attract the best talent from around the world to global Britain.”