Alongside the rest of her strict immigration policies, back in 2012 Theresa May had abolished the Post-Study Work Visa. This visa was originally introduced in 2004, and it permitted international students to remain in the UK in order to work for a 12-month period after their studies. This student based visa was limited to graduates of certain subjects.
The abolishment of the visa stemmed from the fact that the Home Office claimed that students were overstaying the term of their visas. This was however an incorrect belief, and statistics showed that only a small percentage of international students overstayed their time. Following this, students were only permitted to remain in the UK for four months after their studies. As a result, the number of international students coming to the UK dropped significantly; inevitably having an effect on the UK’s economy.
In recent news, the government is re-introducing a form of Post-Study Work visa. International Students will now have the opportunity to acquire a two-year working visa; with a 6-month period in between to look employment, rather than the current 4 months. This visa will be offered to all international students, irrespective of their nationality or their studies; as long as they hold a valid student visa and they have completed their studies. Under the new regulations, there will not be a limit to how many students can apply. It will, however, include safeguards that will only offer the visa to genuine and credible applicants.
The re-introduction of the scheme is due to the fact that the British government is aiming to recruit the best international talent. Primarily, this is so that there are more opportunities for discoveries in science, technology and research. An official start date for the programme has not been announced, but the launch date aims to be for students beginning their studies in 2020/2021.