The UK Home Office has extended the deadline for international students who wish to apply for the new post-study work visa.
Because of ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions, the new deadline to apply for the Graduate Route is September 27th. Students who began their studies in autumn 2020 now have until September 27th to enter the UK and still qualify for the post-study visa via the Graduate Route.
The Home Office added: “Applicants who began their studies in Autumn 2020 have until 27 September 2021, to enter the UK with permission as a student (updated from the previous date of 21 June 2021) in order to be eligible to apply to the graduate route. Students who began their studies in January or February 2021 will need to be in the UK by 27 September 2021”.
What does the new post-study work visa mean for international students in the UK?
For international students wishing to study in the UK, the new post-study work visa provides the opportunity to work in the UK after graduation.
From 2019, international students who study at UK universities will be able to stay and work for two years after graduation, by applying for the newly announced Graduate Immigration Route.
The Graduate Immigration Route will be available to international students who have completed a degree at the undergraduate level or above at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance and who have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time of application.
Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for a maximum period of two years. Beyond that, graduates who have found skilled jobs, and who qualify for skilled work visas, will be able to switch visas in order to continue their careers in the UK.
This visa category, announced in September 2019, will be open to applicants from summer 2021, which means that anyone starting a degree on that autumn, and who has a valid Tier 4 visa when the new category opens for applications, will be eligible to apply.
While there has been some frustration about the lack of detail about the new visa, the UK government has recently published updated guidance which confirmed that those studying by distance/blended learning as a result of changes forced on universities by Covid-19 will be eligible to apply for the Graduate route provided they are in the UK by 6 April 2021.
This is an important concession, given that Covid-19 could prevent some students from traveling to the UK on the normal timetable, although most UK universities have now confirmed that the term will start more or less on the usual timetable. Some 97 percent of UK universities have confirmed that they plan to provide some in-person teaching where possible and safe, supported by technology where necessary in order to keep staff and students safe.
If you would like to discuss your current application with one of our consultants or have any questions about COVID-19 and its implications for UK study, we welcome one-to-one counseling session, who will be happy to help.
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