NEW DELHI: With the post-study leave to remain in the UK having been discontinued for foreign students under the Tier 4 visa rules, there's a lot of concern among Indians who are looking at UK as a campus destination. But all doors are not closed and there are still opportunities to work in the UK after graduation, says a senior official in the British High Commission, Delhi.
"The previous arrangements (Tier 1 post study work) which allowed foreign students to remain in the UK and work after their studies are no longer in force. But there are arrangements under Tier 2 of the points-based system under which all students who graduate from a UK university can apply for a working visa if they have an offer of a graduate level job in the UK with registered companies. They may work for three years, with the possibility to extend this for a further three years.
Employers are not required to undertake resident labour market tests, nor do the appointments form part of the annual limit on skilled worker numbers," the official at the British High Commission told ET. "In addition, we have introduced a new visa route for graduate entrepreneurs. This will allow students who have world class innovative ideas to stay in the UK and develop their business," she added.
Graduate entrepreneurs are those foreign graduates of UK universities who will be identified as having developed a world class innovative idea or having entrepreneurial skills. The UK government is hoping to leverage its top colleges and universities to attract international students, despite the visa restrictions.
"We expect high quality Indian students to continue to view the UK as a destination of choice for study. Students will graduate with internationally recognised qualifications and be well placed to take up graduate level jobs in the UK and elsewhere," the official said.
According to Universities UK, the impact of the new student visa rules on Indian applications for 2102-13 was mixed. Some universities are reporting a drop in applications, while others say applications are holding up. In 2011, the UK Border Agency in India issued about 32,000 student visas, equating to 75% of those who applied.