International students not only help the UK’s education system to be one of the best in the world but also have a vast contribution to the UK economy. However, since the UK government decided to cancel the post-study work visa in 2012, it is found that the country lost roughly £150 million a year. The number of international students decreased by 87% after this route was closed, aiming to attract the brightest students and avoid poor quality colleges/universities into the system. A study indicated that international students bring £3.2 billion over 10 years to the UK economy.
What it means for students?
The opportunity to stay and get work experience in the UK is very appealing to international graduates and It could be one of the reasons why students come to the UK. In fact, the survey conducted by OK Students social media in 2020 showed that over 70% of international students would like to get a job in the UK after graduation. This shows the desire of graduates to work in the UK which can be seen as an opportunity for the government to make the UK to be the number one choice for overseas students to come and study.
What it means for the UK?
Having realised the value of international students, on the 11th September 2019, The UK government announced a two-year post-study work visa for international students. This route allows graduates who have finished an undergraduate level and above to work, look for work at any skill level, and stay in the UK for two years after finishing their degree. PhD’s graduates will be eligible to stay for three years after graduation. This is a great opportunity for bright and ambitious students to build successful careers in the UK. However, this is a non-extendable visa and does not count towards the settlement. Thus, if they wish to stay longer, students are expected to find skilled jobs that qualify for work visas.
Who is eligible and what changed?
Furthermore, this route will be open to students from summer 2021 who hold a valid Tier 4 visa at the end of their degree. They will be required to make a new application and payment of IHS (International Health Surcharge). Knowing that some students are studying a distance learning degree, the government provides flexibility for those students who are interested in applying for this route by finishing the last semester in the UK and those students must arrive in the UK before 6th April 2021 and 27th September 2021 for January intakes students. In other words, international graduates can be confident about getting the PSW visa if they have a valid student visa when this route is officially launched. More detailed information regarding the exact date, fees, and other requirements have not yet been confirmed by the UK government.
To sum up, international graduates will be eligible for the PSW visa if they:
- Completed a bachelors, masters, or PhD at a qualifying UK higher education in summer 2021 and afterwards.
- Have a valid tier 4 visa when applying for the route.
- Completed the last semester in the UK and arrived before 6th April 2021 (September Intakes) and 27th September 2021(January Intakes).
With the announcement of the post-study work visa, we believe that it would make the UK one of the top destinations to study abroad. It is predicted that the number of international students will rise when this route is launched officially. Even though a myriad of students’ purpose of coming to the UK is to study, most of them are keen on getting work experience in the UK which the PSW visa will allow. It brings an excitement to international students to come to the UK and it will help them become more employable in both their home country and the UK. We will make an update as soon as we have received new information. We can’t wait to have inquisitive, brightest, and eager international graduates to come and work in the UK.