The Government caused excitement back in September when it announced the return of the post-study work visa for international students graduating from a UK Higher Education Provider.
The Home Office has now issued a factsheet about the route on its blog. This includes some key points and answers to what are described as frequently asked questions. The new route is named the ‘Graduate Immigration Route’ in the factsheet.
The following key points (which have previously been outlined in one form or another) are covered:
- The Graduate Immigration Route will be available to international students who have:
- completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance (defined in the Sponsor Guidance); and
- have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time of application.
- The new route will be launched in the summer of 2021, meaning that any eligible student who graduates in the summer of 2021 or after will be able to apply for the route. This includes students who have already started their courses. Universities will also be able attract students starting in the 2020/21 academic year on the basis that they will benefit.
- Those who obtain leave to remain under the route will be able to stay in the UK and work, or look for work, at any skill level for a maximum period of two years. The route will not lead to settlement of itself, but graduates will be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job, providing they meet the requirements of the skilled work route.
- The Graduate Immigration Route will require a new immigration application. This will include the payment of a visa fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge. The exact fee will be set out in due course.
- Sponsorship is not required for the route.
- Those who graduate and whose Tier 4 leave expires before the route is introduced will not be eligible. The Government’s position is that most of these students will have had no expectation of benefitting from such a route when they applied to study in the UK.
We will update our website when further information is published about the new route.