By Ashish Joshi
As per the new immigration rules, set to be introduced from the 11th of January 2018, international students in the UK will be able to switch to a Tier-2 (or Skilled Worker) Visa from a Tier-4 (or Student) Visa, as soon as they complete their course, offering them an increased time frame to look for jobs in the UK.
In the past, students had to wait until they were awarded a degree to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa. As a result, they had a smaller time in which to look for local jobs. A failure to get a job quickly meant that the students had to return to their native countries when their student visas expired.
A move to increase international student base
The decision has come forward after long negotiations between representatives of the universities and the government. Brexit has already made it difficult for universities to attract students from over the EU and even the native students now find it hard to move across EU for university education, resulting in a swelled up native population of students across the universities.
Strict visa rules make international students hesitant to apply for university programs in the UK. London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, in his blueprint paper, ‘Immigration-a future approach’ highlighted the shrinking number of international students in universities across the UK. A relief in the rules will help universities attract international students and retain them as professionals in the country.
What’s in it for Indian students?
A large number of Indian students move abroad every year to pursue higher studies in universities spread across the world. India is witnessing an all-time surge of students going abroad. Traditionally, the US, Australia and Canada have been the preferred destinations for Indian students. Germany and China, on the other hand, have emerged as lucrative destinations in the recent past. The UK, in fact, has been the only country, all this while, that has recorded a fall in Indian, as well as international, admissions. Difficult immigration policies and uncertainty due to Brexit are to blame for this.
The relaxation in immigration policies from the UK is a happy news for Indian students in times when scepticism for US immigration is on the rise due to Trump administration’s anti-globalisation propaganda. Further, Brexit will bring down the competition for jobs in the UK in the coming years, making it a favourable destination for the international students’ community. Although the impact of Brexit on the immigration policies is yet unclear, in time UK will become a destination that students will get attracted to.
Featured Image Source: Pixabay
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