Boris Johnson Reverse Theresa May's Student Visa Rules

Europe News

Theresa May, when she was the home secretary in 2012, brought in rules that force international students to leave the UK four months after completing their degree. But the Boris Johnson government has decided to extend the period to two years after graduating.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson while making changes to the UK visa system has vowed to help students unlock their potential and he also gave directives that will enable international students to stay and work in the UK for two years after graduating instead of the four months that is currently being practised. This is seen as a move to show that Britain is still an outward-facing nation as the government pushes ahead with its Brexit plans.

The new post-study work visa will come into effect for students starting courses at undergraduate level or above in 2020, and is open to graduates in any subject and for jobs in any sector. The government said students will need to have successfully completed a degree from a trusted UK university or higher education provider with a track record of upholding immigration checks.

There will be no cap on the numbers who can apply, and those with the visa will be able to apply to switch to a skilled worker visa if they find a job which meets the relevant criteria.

Current Home Secretary Priti Patel said this showed a "global outlook". But the campaign group Migration Watch has called it "retrograde", arguing that it will "likely lead to foreign graduates staying on to stack shelves".

The UK is currently second only to the US as a destination for international students, with nearly 460,000 students coming to study at British universities each year.