Before the Immigration Rules changed in 2012, international students were able to apply for additional leave to remain in the UK as Post Study Workers after the completion of their studies. Under the current regulations, once the course of study has been completed, the students are required to leave the UK, unless they manage to secure a formal immigration status through an alternative visa route under the Immigration Rules.
Tier 2 visas for skilled workers are an option for recent graduates. However the threshold on how much the recent graduate must be earning, along with the time limits for moving into work and requirements for sponsorship are considered to be too demanding and universities are looking for a less restricted approach.
It has been suggested that the UK is “missing out” on the global growth in overseas students. The number of international students coming to the UK has increased by only 3% in the past decade. Meanwhile, the number of international students has increased by 40% in USA, by 54% in Australia and 57% in Canada. The USA, Australia and Canada are known for allowing international students to work after graduation and therefore their educational institutions are more attractive for prospective students.
Universities UK say that overseas students are worth over £25 billion to the UK economy. The spending of overseas students supports more than 200,000 jobs, with an economic impact, across fees, travel and living cost worth approximately £25.8 billion, including £1 billion in tax revenues.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We recognise the cultural and financial contribution which international students make to the UK, which is why we have developed an excellent post-study offer…Graduates can stay if they get a graduate level job, get an internship or apply to set up a business in the UK…Completing PhD students are also able to stay for an additional year to gain work experience or set up as an entrepreneur”.
Universities UK is however calling for changes to the UK visa system to allow international students to stay and work for at least two years after they graduate.
Gherson can provide professional guidance in regards Tier 4 visas. Should you wish to discuss the options available to you, 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.