It has been announced the UKBA will shortly enforce new rules to cut abuse of the student visa route and ensure that only the brightest and the best students can stay and work in the UK.
Students can currently work in the UK for 2 years after their studies have finished, under the Tier 1 (Post-study work) route. However from 6 April, a more selective system will come into place so only the most talented international graduates can apply to stay in the UK for work reasons.
Only those who graduate from a university and have an offer of a skilled job at a salary of at least £20,000 (or more in some cases) from a reputable employer which is accredited by the UKBA, will be able to continue living and working in the UK.
The rules will:
- encourage growth – a new Graduate Entrepreneur route will open, with up to 1,000 places for students working on world-class innovative ideas who want to stay and develop them but do not meet the requirements of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route
- boost the economy – young entrepreneurs or small company directors will get the opportunity to stay in the UK after their studies if they have £50,000 to invest in their business;
- ensure that students can support themselves – there will be an increase in the amount of money that students and working migrants (and their dependants) must prove they have to support themselves whilst in the UK; and
- tackle abuse – restricting work placements to one-third of the course for international students studying below degree level to ensure that those coming to the UK are here to study, not to work. Also, the time that can be spent studying at degree level will be restricted to a general limit of 5 years.
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