The laws affecting post-grad students has changed, making it harder for them to stay in the UK.
On its website the Home Office said, “Tier 1 (Post Study Work) will be closed to new applicants on 5 April 2012. In its place will be new, more selective arrangements to enable the brightest and best graduates to stay and work in the UK.”
Foreign students graduating from a UK university who want to stay in the country will have to apply under Tier 2 (General) rules. This will mean they will need to find employment from a UK Border Agency-accredited company and have a starting salary of at least £20,000 to stay in the country.
Under the old rules a Tier 1 Post-Study visa allowed students who had finished their course to stay in the country for two years as a stop-gap to find work and switch to a work or business visa. The statement of intent outlining the changes promised ‘new provisions’ for those who would have been eligible under the old Tier 1.
In addition to the changes for post-graduate students, there will be a number of other changes to immigration laws. Time spent on Tier 2 will be limited to six years, while failure to be granted settlement or permission to stay through another category will result in being told to leave the UK.
A new ‘cooling-off period’ will apply to Tier 2 candidates whose visas have expired, meaning they will have to wait 12 months outside the UK before applying for a further Tier 2 visa.
There will be a new visitor route for people including examiners, lecturers, lawyers, professional artists, entertainers and sportspersons, to enter the UK for a maximum of a month for paid events and engagements.