UK Contemplates Stricter Rules for Foreign Graduates on Two-Year Visas
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UK Contemplates Stricter Rules for Foreign Graduates on Two-Year Visas

UK Rules for Two-Year Visas

The United Kingdom is contemplating the imposition of restrictions on foreign students utilizing graduate visas, stipulating a two-year limit for those who do not meet specified academic standards, as disclosed by a high-ranking government official.

According to The Telegraph, the United Kingdom Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has been tasked by Home Secretary James Cleverly to conduct a comprehensive review of the graduate visa system, forming a crucial component of a broader five-point strategy aimed at reducing net migration by 300,000 from its historically high levels.

The report highlights a substantial surge, with over 98,000 foreign students being granted two-year UK visas upon completing their studies, marking a significant 74% increase from the previous year. Alarming concerns have been raised about potential misuse of the graduate visa, with individuals allegedly entering low-skilled employment or remaining in the country without any commitment to securing employment.

Professor Brian Bell, the Chairman of the MAC, addressed these concerns, emphasizing the absence of any current requirements regarding specific grades or achievements in university courses. He stressed that the focus of the review is to assess the feasibility of implementing a rule necessitating students to attain certain grades or specific achievements during their courses.

Additionally, the committee will deliberate on the prospect of imposing stringent regulations that mandate foreign students to attend specific universities or complete designated courses to remain in the UK. Professor Bell clarified that, at present, there are no such restrictions, allowing individuals to reside in the UK without any obligations for two years if they have the financial means.

He pointed out the diverse options available to visa holders, ranging from taking minimum-wage jobs to securing highly paid positions. It is worth noting that when the two-year visa was initially introduced during Boris Johnson’s tenure, the MAC vehemently opposed it, proposing a six-month extension post-graduation, during which students would be expected to either secure employment or leave the country.

Professor Bell acknowledged the attractiveness of the visa as a tool to attract students and boost university finances. However, he disclosed that the MAC is actively considering the possibility of limiting the visa to highly skilled graduate workers exclusively.

Related: Applications for UK Chevening Scholarships are Now open

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