By Uglobal Staff
The UK has officially launched its much-awaited immigration route for international students that would pave the way for the country to retain highly qualified talent from around the world and give a boost to its pandemic-hit economy.
The Graduate route opened on July 1 for all international students who graduated from British universities inside the UK, allowing them to find full time work upon completion of their studies.
Previously, international students were allowed to stay back in the UK for just four months to find full time work before the expiry of their student visas. The only way for them to continue their stay in the country was if they could find a company to sponsor them on a work visa.
New option for graduate students to legally work in the UK
But now with the new graduate route, international university students who complete their master’s programs from British universities would be allowed to stay in the country for at least two more years to find work. International PhD students would be allowed to stay and find work for three more years upon completion of their studies.
The international graduates would be allowed to stay unsponsored during this entire period, which means companies wouldn't have to hire them on a sponsored route in order for the students to stay in the country. This is expected to also allow the graduates to be free from restrictive conditions such as meeting a minimum salary threshold and they would also be able to switch jobs and work flexibly during their post-graduate period.
In a statement, the UK Home Office said students who began their studies in the spring of 2020 but due to the pandemic are no longer in the UK can avail this route if they complete their course and are in the country by Sept. 27 this year. Those starting their studies this year or early next year are required to be in the UK by April 6, 2022.
"The new route, part of the points-based immigration system, will help attract the best talent from around the world and ensures that businesses can recruit the most highly qualified from across the globe to complement the skills already in the UK, helping drive the economy forwards as Britain builds back better from the pandemic," the statement added.
UK’s graduate route set to help with the economic losses of the pandemic
British Home Secretary Priti Patel pointed out the latest scheme was part of the country’s strategy to overcome its pandemic losses. “As we build back better, it is vital that the UK continues to be a beacon for talented young people across the globe who want to make a difference.
“The new Graduate route does just that, giving the best and brightest graduates the opportunity to continue contributing to the UK’s prosperity and the freedom to kickstart their careers in the UK,” Patel said.
The UK in recent months has taken several initiatives to strengthen its economy. On May 24, the Home Office unveiled plans to launch new visa routes for attracting global business, foreign entrepreneurs and global talent by spring 2022. The country is also offering new visa routes to specific countries for the purpose of attracting talent; for example, on May 4, the UK announced a new visa route for young Indian professionals, allowing them to work in the country for at least two years. In February, the UK also announced a separate visa stream for highly skilled migrants under which they would be able to find jobs with British financial firms without the need for going through cumbersome bureaucratic processes; this scheme is set for March 2022.
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