The new UK Graduate Immigration Route and what we know so far..

Immigration News

September 18, 2019

The government announced the creation of the new Graduate Immigration Route – very similar to the post-study work which was revoked in 2012. The exact guidelines are not published yet so there still some clarity required. I am writing to give our take on the return of this post-study work route.   

What we do know so far? 

  • International students in the UK graduating in 2021 will be able to benefit. This means that it will apply to everyone who will have the Tier-4 student visa at the time this route is introduced. 

  • If the student visa expires before this for example in 2020 – they will NOT benefit from this route. 

  • It will apply to everyone who has completed a UG or higher qualification. 

  • This new route will allow graduates to stay and work, or look for work for max 2 years & would be a separate visa with the immigration health surcharge. More details on this are awaited. 

  • This is not extendable and does not count towards the ILR. Post this, one needs to move to the skilled category (Tier-2, Tier-1 etc) for the ILR period to start. 

Some of the important points to look at in the future: 

  • Will the graduates get the same benefits/concessions like exemption from RLMT even after two years? 

  • The salary and minimum skill levels required for the new route and then to move on to the skilled visas like Tier-2? 

  • Can the dependents work while the graduate is on this visa route?

  • Any limitation to private institutions? 

& finally the positives: 

  • There is, at last, some breathing period! A lot of students will be motivated to give this a fair chance and apply for jobs.

  • Fewer barriers for employers – this is good ‘try before buy’ option before they sponsor the visa and hire on a longer-term basis. 

  • Graduates can apply for more than 1 graduate scheme cycle! 

Overall, it’s very positive news for all the stakeholders. What will be interesting to see is how the universities and support services like visa advice teams and careers teams plan for this new change. There will be a surge in the advisory services not only for current students but also for the alumni who stays back in the country during this 2-year period.

At Student Circus, we are very optimistic about the opportunities this brings. With the attractiveness of the UK increasing, more enrolments will lead to a bigger pool of talent waiting to be placed.

"This gives the universities an opportunity to deliver on the career outcomes for international graduates. We are extremely excited that more than 35 universities have chosen us to help them in this journey and create a bigger impact on the industry."

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