The UK government seems to be working on a plan to lower the volume of immigration into the country.
Under the current Graduate Visa route, international students, including Indians, are given two years’ time to get work experience up to two years without the requirement of a specific job offer, but according to some media reports the country is now considered to cut this period to six months.
UK Government Considering Limiting Graduate Visa Stay Period
According to a report published in The Times, the UK government is looking to “reform” the Graduate Visa route requiring students to obtain a work visa by getting a skilled job or leave the UK after six months.
British Home Secretary Suella Braverman has reportedly drawn up a plan to cut the period of stay allowed for overseas students under a post-study visa route.
The report also mentions that the UK Department for Education (DfE) is attempting to block the reform as it fears that the move would harm the UK’s attractiveness to international students.
The report cited a government source, who backs Braverman’s plan, saying that the Graduate Visa was being increasingly used by students on short courses at “less respectable universities”. “It’s being used as a backdoor immigration route,” the newspaper quoted the source as saying.
Impact on Indian Students
According to official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Indian students were the largest beneficiaries among foreign students of the new Graduate Visa route, introduced in July 2021. Indians accounted for 41 per cent of the visas granted under this route in 2021.
Braverman’s reform proposal is reportedly among many other proposals like this one. The UK government has reportedly asked the Home Office and the Department of Education to submit proposals for cutting the number of foreign students coming to the UK.