The United Kingdom’s Home Office announced today that international students will now have the option to get a two year visa after they’ve graduated whether they have a job lined up or not, undoing one of the main elements of ex-Prime Minister Theresa May’s hostile environment policy.
The current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said the changes which are set to be implemented in 2020 means that students from abroad won’t have to leave the country four months after they’ve completed their degree. This will help them to begin their careers in the U.K.
“Britain has a proud history of putting itself at the heart of international collaboration and discovery,” Johnson stated. He said that the country’s scientific achievements “wouldn’t be possible without being open to the brightest and the best from across the globe to study and work in the U.K.” He added, “That’s why we’re unveiling a new route for international students to unlock their potential and start their careers in the U.K”.
The new rule will apply to both undergraduate and postgraduate students alike, there won’t be a limit on the quantity of students eligible for the visa, and there won’t be constraints on the types of careers they can choose either.
The changes bring back a strategy that was dropped by the coalition government seven years ago, at a time when immigration thought of as one of the most important focal points among British voters.
At that time, May felt the two year visa was “far too generous”, calling it a “symbol of a broken and abused immigration system.”
Approval of the visa
Conservative Member of Parliament Jo Johnson supported his brother decision, tweeting, “Brilliant move by PM (Prime Minister) @borisjohnson. Serious leadership on this issue”.
Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, Mike Spicer, stated, “The British Chambers has long called for the two-year post-study work visa to be restored so this decision is welcome, if not overdue”.