The UK Government has announced that the new Graduate route will open for applications starting from 1 July 2021. This will allow the UK to retain the best and brightest international students so that they can continue to contribute to society and boost the economy.
In order to qualify for the Graduate route, international students must have completed a qualifying programme at a UK higher education provider and have a track record of adhering to the government’s immigration regulations. Graduate students will be entitled to work or search for jobs for a maximum of two years after completing their studies, or three years for Doctoral students.
The intention behind the graduate route for international students is to ensure that communities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can benefit from talented individuals who want to stay in the UK after their higher studies. This proves that the government is delivering on its key manifesto promise to implement a points-based immigration system, which will attract talent and ensure that businesses can recruit the most highly qualified from across the globe to drive the economy forward.
The Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said, “As we rebuild from the global pandemic we want the world’s brightest talent, who aspire to a career at the highest levels of business, science, the arts and technology to see our United Kingdom as the natural place to fulfil their aspirations. The changes announced will ensure once they have received a gold standard qualification from one of our world-leading education institutions they can easily secure the status they need to continue living, working and fulfilling their dreams in the UK”.
The Graduate route will be unsponsored, which means that applicants will not be required to have a job offer in order to apply. There will be no minimum salary requirements on the number of positions available. Graduates who follow this path will be able to work flexibly, change jobs and advance their careers as needed.
The new graduate route for international students will help the government to achieve the ambition set out in the International Education Strategy to increase the number of international students in higher education in the UK to 600,000 by 2030. Applicants who began their studies in Autumn 2020 will now have until 21 June 2021 to enter the UK in order to be eligible for the Graduate route. Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will need to be in the UK by 27 September 2021.
As part of a package of measures for highly skilled migrants, the government announced plans to introduce another new immigration route to help start-ups and fast-growing businesses acquire the talent they need to innovate and develop. Highly skilled migrants with a job offer from a recognised high-growth organisation will be eligible for a UK visa as part of the route.
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