Bhubaneswar: The United Kingdom has confirmed that the new Graduate route will open for international students for applications on July 1. This will be open for students who successfully complete a degree at the undergraduate level or above in the UK.
International students on the Graduate route will be able to work or look for work after their studies for a maximum period of two years (three years for PhD students), according to a press release from British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata.
According to the most recent statistics cited by the Commission, the number of student visas issued to students from India increased by 42 per cent compared to the previous year — now numbering more than 53,000.
Coronavirus concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the pandemic have also been extended, recognising the continuing disruption in international travel. Applicants who started their studies in autumn 2020 will now be required to enter the UK by June 21 (updated from April 6) to become eligible to apply for the Graduate route.
Students who started studies in January or February 2021 will need to enter the UK by September 27.
“As we rebuild from the impact of the global pandemic we want the world’s brightest talents to see the UK as the natural home for their aspirations.
“The launch of this new route will ensure those who graduate from our world leading institutions will easily be able to secure the status they deserve to continue living and working as they make our United Kingdom their home,” UK Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, Kevin Foster was quoted as saying by the release.
British Deputy High Commissioner to Kolkata, Nick Low said, “I couldn’t be happier. I see first-hand every day the immense contribution that students, alumni and universities make to the “Living Bridge” between the United Kingdom and India. Indian students going to study in the UK don’t just receive a world class education. They make a mighty contribution to their colleges and universities. And they are enriched and they grow as individuals. The new post-study Graduate route takes that to the next level. I enthusiastically commend it.”
British Council India director, Barbara Wickham said, “The UK is committed to supporting thousands of Indian students in their dreams to pursue a world class UK education and post study employment opportunities. Given the pandemic travel restrictions, these new timelines to reach the UK will help ensure international students are able to benefit from the Graduate route and gain coveted international work experience.”
“Indian students are encouraged to reach out to their universities and seek regular guidance on blended learning, recommended time to travel to the UK, and on any other support required on campus,” the director added.