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2-Year Post-Study Work Visa to be Reintroduced in the UK from 2020 for International Students

International students will be allowed to stay (and look for jobs) for two years (under the new UK post-study work visa rules) after graduating. It will be applicable for the foreign students enrolling in a UK university from next year (students enrolling in 2020 – 2021 admission cycle). The announcement regarding the new Post Study Work Visa UK rule came from Boris Johnson (UK’s Prime Minister) and Home secretary Priti Patel. This move will reinstate the UK among the best countries with post-study work visa rules for international students.


UK Post-Study Work Visas for Foreign Graduates to be Extended to Two Years


The new ‘Graduate’ route will be open to all international students – including those from India – who have valid UK immigration status as a student and have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at undergraduate level or above at an approved UK Higher Education Provider.


The UK post-study work visa will allow eligible students to work, or look for work, in any career or position of their choice, for two years after completing their studies.


Currently, graduates with bachelors or master’s degrees are allowed to look for work for only four months. From next year all international graduates could qualify for a two-year period to work in the UK, increasing their chances of finding long-term employment after studying. Those at 27 selective (elite & prestigious) universities on a pilot scheme get six months.


The new strategy, announced by the Prime Minister, is aimed at boosting the appeal of Britain as a university destination for overseas students.


From next year (2020 – 2021 admission cycle), international students who enroll in undergraduate, postgraduate or Ph.D. courses in the UK will be able to stay in the country for two years after they graduate – as stated on the Official UK Govt. site.



2-Year Post-Study Work Visa UK


Under European Union (EU) laws, tuition fees for British and EU students are capped at £9,250 per year, but there is no limit on what universities can charge international students.


Indian Students in the UK


The UK welcomes genuine students from India and the rest of the world for the positive contribution they make to the UK. Indian student numbers have significantly increased over the last three years, reaching almost 22,000 in the year ending June 2019. This was a 42% increase on the previous year – and almost 100% higher than three years ago. In addition, 96% of all Indians who apply for a UK visa are successful – meaning the vast majority of those who wish to come to the UK are able to do so.


STEM Students will be the Maximum Beneficiaries


The new government policy is supposed to be triggered by the launch of the world’s largest genetics project, a £200 million whole genome sequencing project in the UK Biobank. So, excellent opportunities for foreign students who want to study Genetics, Bioinformatics, and related areas in the UK.


The new announcement follows the creation of a new fast-track visa route for scientists and the removal of the limit on PhD students moving into the skilled work visa route, which collectively aims to cement the UK as a science superpower and a world-leader in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) sector. Almost half of all Indian students (almost 130,000 since 2008/9) heading to the UK in the last ten years chose a STEM subject.


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


2-Year Post-Study Work (PSW) Visa UK
Source: UK Universities


According to a government statement, the new PSW visa will be available to students who have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK HEI which has a “proven track record” in upholding immigration checks.


There will be no cap on the number of applications.


“The Scottish Government has been consistent in arguing for the reintroduction of a post-study work visa following the decision by the UK Government to end the previous route in 2012. This is a welcome step forward but only one of many measures required.” – Minister for Further and Higher Education Richard Lochhead


There Might be a Salary Cap


In order to be eligible for the 2-year post-study work scheme, there could be a minimum annual salary requirement of £30,000 for switching to other visa categories.


“But it also highlights the foolishness of government plans to place a salary limit on work visas at £30,000. Many of the graduates doing fantastic medical and other research earn less than that. Government policy will prevent us from attracting them to live and work here.”


Requests are pouring to set the minimum salary requirement as £21,000 instead of £30,000.


Related Articles:


How to Get Jobs in the UK as an International Student


Job Scenario and Best Subjects to Study in the UK for International Students


List of Masters Programs in the UK with Paid Internships and Industrial Placements


Job Search Tips for Non-EU Students Studying in Europe including the UK



Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Author: Tanmoy Ray

I am a Career Adviser & MS Admission Consultant. Additionally, I also manage online marketing at Stoodnt. I did my Masters from the UK (Aston University) and have worked at the University of Oxford (UK), Utrecht University (Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Australia) and MeetUniversity (India).


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