UK government confirms graduate visa route will be kept

UK government confirms graduate visa route will be kept



LONDON: UK’s govt has announced it will retain the graduate visa route, which allows international students to work or look for work for two years after they graduate (or for three years for those on a PhD). The home office will instead focus on regulating agents that recruit international students and bring out tougher compliance standards for institutions recruiting them.
It announced Thursday that would it accept the findings of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), published last week, which said the graduate route should not be scrapped.
Rogue agents recruiting international students will have their business model “smashed” and universities which do not meet tougher compliance standards risk having their sponsor licence revoked, it said.
That includes universities which accept international students who fail to pass visa checks, or enrol or complete their courses.
Financial maintenance requirements will be raised, and English language assessments are being reviewed. Restrictions on remote delivery of courses are also being introduced. The route will “remain under review” owing to concerns “it is not attracting the highest earners” after analysis showed a large number ended up on low incomes.
A home office spokesperson told TOI: “Govt has accepted all the MAC’s recommendations and introduced more measures to curb fraudulent activities, ensure only genuine students enter the visa system and hold universities accountable for their recruitment process.”
In the year ending March 2024, 116,455 Indians were granted student visas.
National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK chair Sanam Arora said: “We are delighted and very relieved that the UK govt has taken the right decision. This is critical for Indian students. We are very pleased that the focus will instead be on regulating agents.”





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