NEW DELHI: There is good news for Indian students interesting in pursuing studies in Britain as the UK government on Wednesday announced the re-introduction of the two-year post-study work visa, allowing opportunities to international students to start working there after completing their higher studies. The decision comes into effect from the 2020-21 academic session.
The two-year post-study work visa was scrapped in 2012. Its re-introduction is expected to boost the number of students going to the UK, which draws the highest number of Indian students every year.
The new route will be open to all international students — including those from India — who have valid UK immigration status as a student and have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at the undergraduate level or above at an approved UK university, the UK government order said.
“This is fantastic news for Indian students, who will now be able to spend more time in the UK after completing their degree, allowing them to gain further skills and experience,” said Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India in a statement.
The number of Indians going to study in the UK has been growing every year and reached almost 22,000 in the year ending June 2019. This was an increase of over 40 per cent on the previous year — and almost 100 per cent higher than three years ago. With the work visa programme back, the number of Indians headed to the UK is expected to grow further.
This announcement follows the creation of a new fast-track visa route for scientists and removal of the limit on PhD students moving into the skilled work visa route, which collectively aim to cement the UK as a as a science superpower and world leader in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sector.
According to Ministry of External Affairs data, nearly 6 lakh Indians are studying abroad, the number of them in the US and Canada.