The government has recently announced a new graduate route which will be available from 1st July 2021. This is a route that’ll be for international students who want to work in the UK after they’ve graduated from their degree course.
How will the new graduate route work?
Opening on 1st July 2021, this route will allow international students to obtain a visa to work in the UK. Applicants must have completed an eligible course with a UK higher education provider and must have a track record of compliance with the government’s immigration requirements.
Students who are successful in applying will be able to stay in the UK to work or look for work, for up-to 2 years. This increases to 3 for Doctoral students.
This system will be unsponsored. This means that applicants won’t need a job offer to apply for the route and there’ll be no salary requirements. Graduates will be able to switch jobs and develop their career as needed throughout their time on the route.
The graduate role will be available across the UK, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This ensures that every corner of the country can benefit from talented graduates who want to stay in the country.
Why is this being introduced?
This new graduate route is the government demonstrating that they can deliver on their key promise to implement a points-based immigration system. This aims to attract talent for start-ups and businesses to recruit the most highly qualified from across the world.
How will this benefit students?
This new policy will mean that international graduate students will have less stress on them in their final year. Rather than having to find sponsorship, they will be able to focus on their final year work instead. Of course, finding a job is imperative to any final year student, but this levels out the playing field when it comes to achieving the best grades possible.
Additionally, the ability to swap and develop careers was previously unheard of. This will allow students to make decisions regarding their career path and follow their goals rather than jump straight into the first graduate scheme willing to sponsor them. It will also allow students to take their time in making decisions, and potentially make the wrong choice without then being stuck in a job they don’t enjoy.
Alongside these policies, COVID concessions have also been extended. This means international students who have returned home have longer before they must re-enter their course or apply for this route. Applicants who began their studies in Autumn 2020, have until 21 June 2021 to enter the UK in order to be eligible for the Graduate route. Those who began their studies in January or February 2021 will have to be in the UK by the 27th September 2021 in order to be eligible.
What have the officials said?
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 UK as the natural place to fulfil their aspirations.”
The route will help the government to rebuild the UK’s reputation as an outstanding provider of higher education, and reach the goal of 600,000 international students by 2030.
The government will release more information on how to apply closer to the launch, keep an eye out here for further details.