UK Immigration Report: Post Study Work Opportunities for Graduates

Today, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration published their report on the UK’s post study work opportunities for international students. According to the report the closure of the Tier 1 Post Study Work (PSW) visa route in April 2012, there has been a significant decline in the number of skilled international graduates remaining in the UK after they have studied in UK universities. 

UK’s Post Study Work Opportunities Need to Improve

According to the report, after the closure of the Tier 1 PSW visa route in 2012, there was a decrease in the number of international students choosing the UK as their destination to study in 2012/2013. However, provisional data from the Higher Education Statistics Authority showed that there was a slight increase in 2013/2014 in the number of international students in the UK, but with the fluctuation in statistics the future of international students in the UK is uncertain.

After the closure of the PSW visa route the UK Government relied on other points-based visa routes such as the Tier 2 (General) to fill the gap. This proved to not have the same effect as the Tier 1 PSW visa route, as 34,895 international students in the UK were granted Tier 1 PSW visas in 2012 after they had graduated in comparison to the 4,175 Tier 2 (General) visas which were issued to international graduate students in 2013. Worryingly these statistics show that there was a sharp drop of 88% in the number of highly skilled graduates remaining in the UK for employment. Nearly 50% higher than the UK Government were predicting.

The report suggests the following to improve the current UK post study work opportunities for international graduates in the UK:

  1. ‘Maximising the attractiveness of UK higher education’, in order for the UK to be able to compete with the international marketplace;
  2. ‘Continuing to serve the interests of UK employers’, in particular UK based companies who need skilled worker in the areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); and
  3. Send the message to international markets that the UK  ‘open for business’.

Current UK Post Study Work Routes for International Graduates

Following the closure of the Tier 1 PSW visa route there are a number of other visa routes that individuals who wish to work in the UK can apply for with the assistance of our expert Immigration Solicitors:

  • The Tier 2 (General) Visa: Is for non-European migrants who have been offered a highly skilled job  by a UK employer to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker. Under this category, you must have a job offer in the UK and a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an organisation that is a licenced sponsor in the UK. If the organisation wishing to sponsor you is not a licenced sponsor, they will need to apply for a sponsorship licence before they can assign a CoS to you.
  • The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa: Allows graduates to extend their stay in the UK, after graduation, so they can establish businesses. The UK Government has placed a limit on the number of Graduate Entrepreneur Visa applications which is currently capped at 1,000 per year and equally divided amongst participating institutions. You can only apply for this visa if you are currently in the UK.
  • Tier 4 (Doctorate Extension Scheme): This route came into force in April 2013, allowing students an additional 12 months in the UK if they are coming to an end of their PhD or other doctorate qualification.
  • Tier 5 Temporary Worker (Government Authorised Exchange visa): Allows individuals to come to the UK for a short time for work experience or do training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, research or a fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme

Successful UK Points Based Applications & Appeals

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.

We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had a points based visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.

Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.

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