UK eases rules, gives students more flexibility for work visas

The new rules are set to apply from January 11
The UK government has decided to ease rules for international students looking to switch over to work visas, with new immigration rules set to be introduced from January 11.

As per the new rules, international students can switch over to Tier-2 visa (or skilled worker visa) as soon as they complete their course. Currently, they must wait until they obtain a degree to apply for the Tier-2 visa, which gave them only a small time frame to find a job while still in the UK, the Times of India reported.

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“The new rule will enable them to apply for a Tier-2 visa a few months earlier than what would otherwise have been possible,” stated a newsletter by EY-UK, one of the big four business consultancies.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has advocated a new category of post-study work visas. In his blueprint paper—’Immigration, a future approach’, Khan has pointed to dwindling international student numbers and suggested that a post study work visa be distinct from the Tier-2 route and should enable students to work in the UK for 12-24 months, after graduation.

Currently, many students holding a Tier-4 visa are unable to switch to a Tier-2 visa because they have not yet obtained their degree and their student visa is about to expire.