Two-year post-study work visa to be reintroduced for international students

Plans to reintroduce a two-year post-study work visa for international students in the UK have been welcomed by universities.

The Department for Education (DfE) told The Guardian that graduates will be allowed to seek work for two years after completing a course in any subject at undergraduate level or higher “at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance”.

Graduates are currently only allowed to seek work for four months after graduating, under rules introduced under then Home Secretary Theresa May in 2012.

Mrs May had said the two-year post-study work visa was “too generous”, but her decision was blamed for a sharp decline in international student enrolments.

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, said: “The introduction of a two-year post-study work visa is something Universities UK has long campaigned for and we strongly welcome this policy change, which will put us back where we belong as a first-choice study destination.

“Not only will a wide range of employers now benefit from access to talented graduates from around the world, these students hold lifelong links with the UK.”

A spokesperson for the Home Office told The PIE News that the government is “currently working on a timeline” for the new rules, but universities “will be able to recruit on the basis that students of 2020/21 will benefit”.

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