UK Post-Study Work Visa for International Students: What’s Happening?

The UK's post-study work visa (PSW) allows international graduates to gain work experience after graduation. The future of the PSW visa is uncertain, potentially impacting Indian students who choose the UK for higher education.
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International students considering higher education in the UK might be concerned about the future of the post-study work visa (PSW). This visa allows international graduates to gain valuable work experience in the UK for two years after completing their studies.

What’s the Issue?

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is reviewing the Post-Study Work Visa. There’s speculation that the committee might recommend discontinuing the visa in its report due on May 14, 2024. This would be a significant change, impacting international student enrollment in the UK.

Anticipated Decision Date

All eyes are set on May 14, the deadline for the MAC to submit its review. Commissioned by Home Secretary James Cleverly on March 11, this rapid evaluation aims to address concerns surrounding the employment outcomes of international graduates.

In a letter penned by Cleverly, alarming statistics were revealed, indicating that a significant portion of international graduates failed to meet the earnings threshold, painting a grim picture for the future of the PSW visa.

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Also Read: 10 Countries Where International Students Can Easily Obtain Work Permits

Understanding the Post-Study Work Visa

Introduced in July 2021 following a decade-long hiatus, the Post-Study Work Visa was a game-changer for international students.

This visa liberates students from the shackles of sponsorship or work permits, granting them the freedom to explore employment opportunities across diverse sectors, mirroring the rights of native citizens. Valid for two years, it serves as a beacon of hope for countless students aspiring to kickstart their careers on British soil.

Impact on Indian Students

The PSW visa has been a major draw for Indian students. In 2023, India became the largest source of PSW participants, with a 250% increase in student visas issued compared to 2019 (pre-PSW). This surge highlights the importance of the PSW visa for Indian students seeking international work experience.

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Also Read: UK Govt to Review Graduate Route Visa, Affecting Indian Students

UK Government’s Immigration Policies

The potential PSW visa changes are part of a broader plan by the UK government to control immigration. Measures like ending dependent visas for students (except PhD/post-doctoral) and restrictions on switching to work visas before graduation reflect this stricter approach. Additionally, the controversial “Rwanda Asylum Plan” aims to deter illegal immigration.

What’s Next?

The MAC report on May 14th will reveal the fate of the PSW visa. This decision will significantly impact international student enrollment, particularly from India. Whether the PSW visa survives or undergoes modifications remains to be seen.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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