The Graduate Immigration route or otherwise called the post-study work permit, was a pleasant announcement for international students planning to study in the UK. In 2019, Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, United Kingdom, reinstated the two-year post study work visa for international students.
This announcement left students overjoyed as they can now stay back additionally for a period of two years after completing their study in the UK. UK has always been a favored destination for Indian students, and this announcement has encouraged more Indian students to pursue study in the UK.
History of the Graduate Immigration Route
- The Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme (SEGS) was announced in October 2004. Abiding by the criterion set, an international student who graduated from a science or engineering stream with a degree form recognized bodies in the UK were allowed to work for 12 months.
- The SEGS was expanded to include more postgraduate courses in May 2006.
- On the 1st May, 2007, the SEGS was replaced by the International Graduates Scheme (IGS). This new rule allowed graduates to work or set up an entrepreneurial venture in the UK for 12 months, without a work permit.
- The IGS was replaced a five tier Post Study Work System, candidates qualifying to different tiers were awarded different work permits.
- The Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa was discontinued from 12th April, 2012, on grounds of it being too lenient.
- Post the closure of the Tier 1 work permit, students were allowed to stay for 4 to 6 months to find employment in the UK.
- In the 2019, the Graduate Immigration Route was instated, which allows students to stay in the UK and find a job over a period of 2 years.
UK’s new Graduate Immigration Route
- After successfully completing their under graduation or master’s degree with recognized UK institutes, students can now stay back for 2 years to search for work.
- The new rule applies to international students from the 1st of July 2021.
- Students who have completed their PhD in the UK can stay for 3 years
Eligibility for an international student under the Graduate Immigration Route
- Graduate Immigration Route will apply to students with valid Tier 4 visas.
- Students should have completed their under graduation or higher education in the UK though its higher institutes of education, are eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route
- GIR is independent of the chosen subject and students’ nationality
- Students graduating before 1 July 2021, are not eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route. This applies to students graduating after the said date; such students qualify to apply for the Graduate Immigration Route; likewise, students who have already started their course are also eligible.
- Students that have begun their studies on campus and online from their native counties -for the academic year 2020-21 will benefit from the Graduate Immigration Route
- Students that have complete their study in the UK in summer 2021 and are unable to travel to the UK, are eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route. This, provided the student arrives in the UK before 21 June 2021.
- Students pursuing 1year master’s courses, starting January 2021, should arrive in the UK by 27th September 2021, to be eligible.
Aspects of the Graduate Immigration Route
- The Graduate Immigration Route will require a student to make a new visa application, the same is to be made from inside the UK
- The students may be employed at any job, at any skill level for up to 2 years in the UK in the UK
- If between this tenure, the student finds employment in their area of education, they can then apply for a visa or permit to extent their stay in the UK.
- The student will have to incur a visa fee of £700, and £624 towards Immigration Health Surcharge
- It is required that a student know the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) used for their Student (or Tier 4) application to apply for the Graduate Route.
- Students applying for the Graduate Immigration Route do no need a sponsor
- There are no minimum salary requirements. Students can switch jobs without any effect of the visa.
- There is no bar on the number of students that can benefit from the Graduate Immigration Route
After the Graduate Route visa expires
- After the two-year period comes to an end the candidate will have to apply for a different visa or will need to leave the UK
- The Tier 2 General Visa, can be applied for on expiry of the Graduate route visa.
- However, the conditions of the Tier 2 visa need the candidate to have an employment offer complying with a minimum salary and skill.
- The Graduate Route visa is nonrenewable.
The UK universities are among of the best in the world. The introduction of the Graduate Route will give Indian students the time to work towards finding employment matching their skill and desire.
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