In 2012, changes to the UK immigration policy, spearheaded by the then Home Secretary, Theresa May, saw the end of Post-Study Work visas for international graduates at UK universities. The Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa was a way for international graduates from UK universities to get work experience in the UK before making the decision to return to their home country, or apply for another UK visa, such as a work permit.
Since, student overstayers have been made a target as part of Theresa May’s hostile environment policy, leaving many no choice but to leave the UK as soon as their studies are over. In the event that they choose to pursue another visa category, they can encounter much stricter requirements.
Graduating students who wish to remain in the UK have to apply through the Tier 2 (General) route. In order to have a chance of success, students must find a job with a salary of at least £20,800 with an employer who has a Tier 2 sponsor license. These employers now have to carry out a resident labour market test when sponsoring graduates, which was not necessary through the Post-Study Work visa route.
Alternatively, graduates can set up a business with £200,000 investment as an (Tier 1) entrepreneur, which most find difficult to obtain. PhD graduates do not have to apply for an extra visa straight after graduating; they have the option to stay for a year after obtaining their degree.
Earlier this month, Universities UK (UUK) called for the government to reintroduce the Post-Study Work visa, as reported by the Guardian. The UUK say that bringing back the provision will ensure that the UK can compete with other popular destinations such as the US, Australia and Canada, who have more open student visa policies, including post-study work facilities.
UK Universities minister Sam Gyimah spoke at the UUK conference in Sheffield, “welcom[ing the] UUK Post-Study Work visa proposal”. He explained that the forthcoming Migratory Advisory Committee (MAC) report “offers us an opportunity to ensure our policy on student migration recognises the contribution that overseas students make to our universities, our balance of trade and our communities”.
In the wake of this proposal, a Home Office spokesperson said:
"There is no limit on the number of genuine international students who can come to study in the UK. 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.”
As an Immigration Director, author, Tamana Aziz assists with immigration applications under EU law, business immigration under the Points Based System, complex appeals (including deportation and country guidance cases) in Immigration Tribunals, the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Tamana advises employers and provides bespoke training on subjects such as compliance with the Home Office’s Prevention of Illegal Working regime and how to use the online sponsorship management system. In addition, Tamana advises high net worth and skilled individuals on extending Tier 2 (General) visas, spousal applications, applications for settlement and British Citizenship. Tamana also has significant experience assisting clients with immigration applications under EU law.
Contact Tamana on 020 3114 1130 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors
Our Immigration department is ranked as a top-tier practice in Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay matters in The Legal 500 2017. As leading immigration specialists we advise on business immigration, right to work in the UK, Tier 2 visa applications, student/graduate visas, spousal visas and visa overstays.
Our broad practice provides a full service to SME business clients across the UK in relation to the Points Based System (PBS); Sponsorship license applications and immigration strategy/compliance advice. Our specialist solicitors are also able to advise businesses and individuals on any changes to UK immigration law during Brexit negotiations and after 29 March 2019, post-Brexit.
For expert legal advice call Duncan Lewis immigration solicitors on 033 3772 0409.