18.09.2019 Visa Reforms – Overseas students can remain the UK up to two years post studies

18.09.2019 Visa Reforms – Overseas students can remain the UK up to two years post studies

Under the new proposal announced by the Home Office and aiming to support the development of the world’s brightest talent and the UK economy, international students are now permitted to stay in the UK for two years following the completion of their studies.

The Home Office has reversed a decision made in 2012 by then-Home Secretary Theresa May that forced overseas students to leave four months after finishing a degree, meaning that international graduates will now be able to remain in the UK for up to two years in order to find a job.

Figures from the UK Council for International Student Affairs show thatjust over 450,000 international students are currently studying in UK universities. Of these, almost two-thirds are from outside the EU, so will require a student visa to be in the country. Evidence also points to overseas students boosting the UK economy to the tune of £26 billion each year.

The change will apply to international students who start courses at undergraduate level or above from next year onwards. Under the proposals, there is no restriction on the kinds of jobs students would have to seek and no cap on numbers.

It’s now hoped more of the world’s most talented students will pursue an education at one of the UK’s many illustrious institutions.

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, welcomed the decision, saying it would benefit the UK economy and reinstate the UK as a “first choice study destination”.

“Evidence shows that international students bring significant positive social outcomes to the UK as well as £26bn 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,” he said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new proposals will help the world’s best students to “unlock their potential and start their careers in the UK”.