Students from India and other countries will soon be able to stay in UK for work experience without any sponsor after completing their education in the country.
The country will open the post-study work visa for international students from July 1, news agency PTI quoted the UK Home Office as saying on Thursday.
To apply under the rule, students would need to have completed an eligible course from a recognised higher education provider in UK at an undergraduate or higher level. Students will be able to work for up to two years after completing their educational course, while in case of doctoral PhD students it will be up to three years.
The graduate route is unsponsored, which means that the students will not need a job offer to apply for it. There will also be no salary requirements or cap on the numbers. The Home Office said this would allow the graduates to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required.
The graduate route was announced last year as part of the new post-Brexit points-based immigration regime and was confirmed within the Immigration Rules tabled in the country's Parliament this week. It will be applicable for 2020-2021 academic cohort of international students.
"As we rebuild from the global pandemic we want the world's brightest talent, who aspire to a career at the highest levels of business, science, the arts and technology to see our United Kingdom as the natural place to fulfil their aspirations," Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster was quoted as saying.
The deadline for students, who couldn't travel to UK last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to be present in the country has been extended to June 21 from April 6 to be eligible for the new visa programme.
"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," said Barbara Wickham, Director India, British Council.
(With inputs from PTI)