New Delhi: Britain on Thursday announced that it has opened a "new graduation route" that will allow international students, including those from India, to stay longer in the UK after they have finished their studies there. The Graduate route visa, announced last year by UK home secretary Priti Patel, offers overseas students the option to apply for the right to stay in the country for job experiences at the end of their university courses.
The graduate route visa, open for applications from this week, is for international graduates who have been awarded their degree from a recognised UK university to stay on and look for work for at least two years, or three years for Doctoral PhD students
Applicants do not need a job offer to apply and, crucially, there are no minimum salary requirements or caps on numbers, allowing graduates on the route to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required.
In a statement, the British High Commission (BHC) said on Thursday, “A new graduate immigration route has been opened by the UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, for applications today (1 July 2021), allowing Indian students the opportunity to stay longer in the UK after they have finished their studies. The Graduate route provides an opportunity for talented international students who have been awarded their degree to stay in the UK and work, or look for work, at any skill level for at least two years.”
The BHC added, “For the first time, the vast majority of applicants to the Graduate route will be able to apply in a fully digital way, using the UK Immigration ID Check smartphone app. Successful applicants will be issued an eVisa and be able to conveniently access this status whenever needed to prove their rights in the UK. This is a more convenient application process which means applicants will not have to visit a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service or re-submit their biometrics. Customers who cannot use the app can still apply online but will need to visit a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service.”
Ms Patel was quoted as saying, “Under the UK Government’s points-based immigration system, talented students from India and across the globe now have the opportunity to kick start their careers in the UK at the highest levels of business, science, technology and the arts. Once they’ve received their world-leading qualification from one of our fantastic education institutions, this new visa will give them the freedom to fulfil their aspirations and advance their careers.”
Acting British High Commissioner Jan Thompson said, “The numbers show that UK universities are already a popular destination for Indian students, who contribute immensely to the unique living bridge that exists between the UK and India. The Graduate route will further help students who wish to stay and work in the UK, strengthening this bond between our two countries even more. Cooperation in higher education is one of the crucial commitments in the UK and India’s 2030 Roadmap, and this is another positive step in that direction."