Previously, the Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa was a way for international graduates from UK universities to remain in the UK for a year after graduation, enabling them to gain some UK work experience before returning to their home country, or before applying for another visa category, such as a work permit. The Post-Study Work visa route was closed in line with changes to the UK immigration policy in 2012, as the then Home Secretary, Theresa May, led a crackdown on student overstayers.
As a result, graduating students who wish to remain in the UK now have to apply through the Tier 2 (General) route to remain in the UK. The Tier 2 programme has stricter requirements for qualification; employers now have to carry out a resident labour market test when sponsoring graduates, which was not necessary through the Post-Study Work visa route.
Under this route, students must find a job with a salary of at least £20,800 with an employer who has a Tier 2 sponsor licence after completing their course, or set up a business with £200,000 investment as an (Tier 1) entrepreneur, which most find difficult to obtain. The only exceptions are PhD graduates who can stay for a year after obtaining their degree.
Earlier this month, Universities UK (UUK) called for the government to reintroduce the Post-Study Work visa to give the UK a competitive edge over rival countries and help it maintain the 450,000 international students in Britain every year, as reported by the Guardian.
The UUK said reviving the provision will enable the UK to compete with other popular destinations such as the US, Australia and Canada, who have more welcoming student visa policies, including post-study work facilities.
Speaking at the UUK annual conference in Sheffield, UK Universities minister Sam Gyimah said he “welcomes [the] UUK Post-Study Work visa proposal”, and that the forthcoming MAC report “offers us an opportunity to ensure our policy on student migration recognises the contribution that overseas students make to our universities, our balance of trade and our communities”.
A Home Office spokesperson said: There is no limit on the number of genuine international students who can come to study in the UK. We recognise the cultural and financial contribution which international students make to the UK, which is why we have developed an excellent post-study offer.”
As an Immigration Director, author, Tamana Aziz assists with immigration applications under EU law, business immigration under the Points Based System, complex appeals (including deportation and country guidance cases) in Immigration Tribunals, the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Contact Tamana on 020 3114 1130 and [email protected].
Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors
Our Immigration department is ranked as a top-tier practice in Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay matters in The Legal 500 2017. As leading immigration specialists we advise on business immigration, right to work in the UK, Tier 2 visa applications, student/graduate visas, spousal visas and visa overstays.