UK opens 2-year post-study work visa offer

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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.

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 reinstated 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 talent 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 UK ended its two-year post-study work visa offer during May’s term as UK home secretary in 2012, widely seen as responsible for a major drop in student numbers from countries like India.


The latest announcement follows the creation of a new fast-track visa route for scientists and the removal  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 aim to cement the UK as a science superpower and a world-leader in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sector.


The new Graduate route will launch for the 2020-21 intake of students to UK universities.

After the two years, they will be able to switch onto the skilled work visa if they find a job which meets the skill requirement of the route.