Student Visas – Policy Changes

13 Jun 2019, 44 mins ago

Following significant recent visa changes – from ending the two-year post-study visa to replacing the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa with the Innovator visa – the UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has started to reverse some of Theresa May’s stringent immigration policies – beginning with the Tier 4 Student visa.

Under the current Immigration Rules, a Tier 4 (General) Student is permitted to stay in the UK for six months after the end of their Masters course, four months after the end of a 12-month course or two months if the study period is between 6 to 11 months. In his pledge, the Home Secretary argued that “it makes no sense to send some of the brightest and most enterprising people in the world straight home after their time here”. In place of the 2 to 6 months students are currently permitted to stay after completing their course, the Home Secretary aims to bring back the pre-2012 immigration policy under which foreign students were allowed to stay and work in the UK for two years after completing their studies. This policy would then be on a par with Canada and the US, where students are allowed to stay for three years after graduation. This policy change will hopefully reverse the dramatic decline in student migration seen in the UK in recent years. For example, between 2011 and 2012, approximately 30,000 Tier 4 students came to the UK from India, as opposed to 16,000 students in 2016 and 2017.

Mr Javid’s pledge to change the current policies, and potentially revitalise the UK economy and raise skills levels across the board, has received warm support from the education sector.

If you wish to work in the UK after graduation, the current route would be to switch from a Tier 4 visa to various other categories such as Tier 1 (Investor), Tier 2 (General), or Tier 5 (Temporary Worker).  

Gherson has extensive experience with the Points-Based System and providing advice in relation to switching from the Tier 4 (General) Student to other categories. If you would like to find out about your options or if you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact us.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2019