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Immigration Solicitors

International students allowed to stay in UK after graduation for two more years (11 September 2019)

Date: 11/09/2019
Duncan Lewis, Immigration Solicitors, International students allowed to stay in UK after graduation for two more years

Today the government announced that international students will be allowed to stay for a further two years after completion of their university course in order to find jobs.

This is positive news which reverses the then-Home Secretary, Theresa May’s decision to close the post-study work visa route in 2012, which forced overseas students to leave four months after finishing their degree. Boris Johnson said the change would see the students “unlock their potential” and begin careers in the UK.

He further added;

“Britain has a proud history of putting itself at the heart of international collaboration and discovery. Over 60 years ago, we saw the discovery of DNA in Cambridge by a team of international researchers and today we are going even further. Now we are bringing together experts from around the globe to work in the UK on the world’s largest genetics research project, set to help us better treat life-threatening illnesses and ultimately save lives.”

Home secretary Priti Patel commented:

“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. It demonstrates our global outlook and will ensure that we continue to attract the best and brightest.”


These changes will apply to international students studying in the UK who start courses at undergraduate level or above from next year onwards. International student statistics report that last year, approximately 450,000 students were recorded, generating an income of £20 billion per year through education exports which includes income from international students, English training and education technology.

The Telegraph reported in March 2019 that foreign students who study at UK universities earn up to 50 percent more than their British classmates.

Maths graduates from the UK earn an average of £33,100 five years after they complete their degree, whilst their peers from outside of Europe earn £48,600.

Meanwhile, economics graduates earn an average of £37,900 after five years if they are from Britain compared to the £45,700 of their overseas counterparts.

The students are required to have a good track record and it is likely that the compliance checks will be carried out on their applications.
Where Theresa May introduced what she called a hostile environment around migration rules with an ambition to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands, Boris Johnson has promised to scrap that target and encourage the "brightest and best" to come and live and work in 'global Britain'.

Chancellor Sajid Javid tweeted that the move was "about time", adding that the government "should have reversed this silly policy years ago".
Former universities minister Jo Johnson - who quit his brother's government last week - tweeted that it was "success at last" after being involved in the cross-party campaign.

Evidence from the past shows that international students bring positive social and economic benefits to the UK, however since the abolishment of the Tier 2 post-study work visa, the UK has been beaten by Australia in for the numbers of overseas students.

Currently, overseas students are only permitted to remain in the UK for up to four months after completing their studies under the rules introduced by Theresa May.



For assistance with any issue involving post-study visas or any other immigration matter, contact Tamana Aziz at tamanaa@duncanlewis.com, or on 020 3114 1130.


Author Tamana Aziz is a director in the business immigration department at Duncan Lewis. Her specialist practice includes immigration applications under EU law, business immigration under the Points Based System (PBS), complex appeals (including deportation and country guidance cases) in Immigration Tribunals, the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Tamana also 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.



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 2019. 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 31 October 2019, post-Brexit.

For expert legal advice call Duncan Lewis immigration solicitors on 033 3772 0409.


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