UK Govt Maintains Graduate Visa Route & Announces New Compliance & Financial Standards For International Students

UK Govt Maintains Graduate Visa Route & Announces New Compliance & Financial Standards For International Students

UK government has confirmed that the graduate visa programme will continue, allowing international students to stay in the country

Siksha MUpdated: Friday, May 24, 2024, 07:23 PM IST
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UK Govt Maintains Graduate Visa Route | Representational Image

The UK government has confirmed that the graduate visa programme will continue, allowing international students to stay in the country for two years following graduation and three years for holders of a PhD. This announcement is accompanied with a strong commitment to more strict guidelines for agents who recruit foreign students as well as more demanding compliance requirements for educational establishments.

The government has accepted the findings of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which recommended the continuation of the graduate route. According to the TOI reports, as part of the new measures, the Home Office made it clear that international students would need to demonstrate their financial independence by raising the requirements for financial maintenance.

In order to guarantee that all international students have the necessary language proficiency for their studies, a review of English language assessments will also be conducted with the goal of standardising independent evaluations.

Home Secretary James Cleverly emphasised the necessity of these measures, stating, "We have taken decisive and necessary action to deliver the largest cut in legal migration in our country’s history. Applications are already falling sharply, down by almost a quarter on key routes in the first four months of this year compared to last, with the full impact of our package still to be seen. But we must go further to make sure our immigration routes aren’t abused. That’s why we are cracking down on rogue international agents and, building on work across government, to ensure international students are coming here to study, not work."

If universities do not comply with the new regulations such as by admitting students who do not finish their courses or pass the visa application, their sponsor licences may be cancelled. Additionally, the government intends to impose limitations on online education in order to guarantee that foreign students attend in-person classes the majority of the time.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan expressed support for these measures, stating, "I am proud that British universities have a fantastic reputation both at home and abroad, and it is testament to the quality of education they offer that so many people aspire to study in this country. It is right that we strike the balance between controlling immigration and making sure the UK remains the 'go to' place for students around the world, supporting our brilliant universities and enabling the best and brightest to study here."

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