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Student Visa Rules Relaxed

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The Home Office has announced that international students will be allowed to stay in the UK for two years after graduation to find a job.

The proposal marks a reversal of the decision in 2012 made by then-Home Secretary Theresa May to force overseas students to leave four months after finishing a degree.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the change would enable students to unlock their potential and begin their careers in the UK.

The change will apply to international students in the UK who start at undergraduate level or above from next year onwards.

However, they must be studying at an institution with a track record in upholding immigration checks.

There will be no restriction on the kinds of jobs students would need to find and no cap on numbers.

Chief executive of Universities UK, Alistair Jarvis, welcomed the news, suggesting it would benefit the UK economy and reinstate the UK as a first-choice study destination.

The proposals are in complete contrast to the hostile environment around migration rules that Theresa May introduced, as she looked to reduce net migration to tens of thousands.

However, Alp Mehme, chairman of Migration Watch UK, warned it would "likely lead to foreign graduates staying on to stack shelves".