Post-Study Work visa Of Indian Students safe despite pandemic

Tuesday 23rd June 2020 04:37 EDT

The UK government has confirmed that despite the state of lockdown international students, including Indians, will remain eligible for post-study work rights at the end of their degree course even if they have to begin the 2020-21 academic courses online.

The two-year post study work visa re-introduced by Home Secretary Priti Patel allows overseas students to be able to work or look for work for two years after completing their course. This will apply to the 2020-21 intake as long as they are physically present in the UK by April 2021 to complete the final semester.

"Students will normally be expected to undertake their studies in the UK to be eligible for the Graduate route. However, if students are required to either continue their current studies or commence a new course by distance or blended learning due to COVID-19, they will still be eligible to switch into the Graduate route on a concessionary basis if they spent some time studying outside the UK," notes the Home Office guidance issued this week.

A number of UK universities have indicated plans for a blended teaching approach, incorporating online as well as some physical lessons in the aftermath of the social distancing norms still in place.

Universities had registered an impressive 136 per cent jump in Indian student visa numbers in the year ending March 2020.

"Indian students can now have confidence that even if they are unable to travel to the UK in the autumn to start their studies due to COVID-19, they will still be eligible to apply for the graduate immigration route if they are in the UK by April 2021," said Vivienne Stern, Director of the Universities UK International (UUKi).

The paper had highlighted that international students bring over 6.9 billion pounds income to UK universities in tuition fees and contribute over 26 billion pounds to the wider UK economy.

As an export sector of growing importance to the UK, higher education must be bolstered with measures such as concessions to ensure that online study amid the lockdown does not disqualify students from the Graduate Visa route, which is set for its launch for the 2020-21 cohort of university intakes.

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