London: In a move that addresses a long-standing demand to boost Indian student numbers choosing British universities, the UK government on Wednesday announced a new two-year post-study work visa route for all international students. The new “Graduate” route, to be in place by next year, will be open to all overseas nationals 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 a government-approved UK higher education institution.
The visa will allow eligible students to work, or crucially look for work, in any career or position of their choice, for two years after completing their studies. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has effectively re-instated a policy ended by his predecessor Theresa May around nine years ago, said the change would see students “unlock their potential” to begin careers in the UK.
“The new Graduate Route will mean talented international students, whether in science and maths or technology and engineering, can study in the UK and then gain valuable work experience as they go on to build successful careers,” said UK home secretary Priti Patel, the senior-most Indian-origin member of Johnson’s Cabinet. “It demonstrates our global outlook and will ensure that we continue to attract the best and brightest,” she said.