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UK launches new immigration program for students

July 16, 2021

5 minutes read

UK launches new student immigration program

The U.K. government officially announced the launch of the Graduate Immigration Program for international students, which will attract highly skilled workers from around the world. The project is expected to help rebuild the country's pandemic-hit economy.

The new visa route opened July 1 for international students, who have graduated from U.K. universities. This route allows candidates to gain full-time employment in the country after completing their education.

Previously, students from other countries could stay in the United Kingdom no longer than 4 months after graduation. Before their student visa expired, graduates did not have much time to find a job. The only way to extend their stay in the country was to be employed by a company that would sponsor a young professional.

New conditions of stay for graduate students

International students, who have completed master's programs at British universities, will be able to stay in the country for a minimum 2 years, so they can find a job. For postgraduate students this period is increased to three years.

Graduates are also allowed to stay in the kingdom without sponsorship during this time. That is, companies are not required to employ foreign employees on sponsored programs in order to ensure their legal stay in the UK. The government is thus trying to free graduates from the restrictions of meeting a minimum wage threshold. And during their postgraduate studies, students will be able to seek and change jobs freely.

Not long ago, the UK Home Office has published a statement regarding the new immigration route. According to this information, students, who have studied at UK universities since spring 2020, but had to leave the country because of the pandemic, will be allowed to use Graduate route. At the same time, students must complete university programs by September 27. Those, who intend to begin their studies early next year or were enrolled in higher education this year, are required to arrive in the state by April 6, 2022.

The ministry statement also noted, that the new stream aims at attracting talented graduates from around the world. This, in turn, will allow companies to employ highly skilled professionals, whose skills and knowledge will be useful to the U.K. economy. The initiative is particularly relevant at a time when the country needs to recover from the COVID-19 epidemic.

Goals of launching the Graduate route

Priti Patel, the secretary of the U.K. Home Office, drew attention to the importance of the new immigration program for the state's economy. The Graduate route was created as part of a strategy to deal with the negative effects of the pandemic. According to the minister, Britain plans to become a country that consolidates the potential of talented young people from different parts of the world.

The program for students allows to implement governmental tasks, while capable graduates get a chance to build a career in a field of their interest. It is worth saying, that the authorities of Great Britain are actively taking measures to strengthen the economy. Thus, on May 24, the Home Office announced the launch of new visa programs until the spring 2022. Such programs will be aimed at developing business, attracting foreign entrepreneurs and talented professionals.

In addition, the state continues to create favorable conditions for skilled employees from abroad. For example, on May 4, UK authorities announced a new visa program, that allows specialists from India to work in the UK for two years or more. And in winter, the government planned to introduce a project designed for highly skilled workers. According to the latter, foreigners will be able to get a job in British financial companies under a simplified procedure from March 2022.

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