Rohit Sethi, Director, ESS Global - Study Abroad Consultant, India

With more than a decade of experience in the international education consultancy service, Sethi now works as the Director of ESS Global – Study Abroad Consultant. Sethi’s professional experience encompasses Sales, Business Leadership, Personnel Management, Operations, General Management & Administration, Budget Development, Advertising, Media Planning, Relationship Management and Competition Analysis. ESS Global is a technology focused organisation, working with a mission to help students realize their international academic aspirations with high integrity, continuous innovation and unparalleled commitment. 

For many years, the UK had successfully maintained its position of being the most attractive study destination for overseas nationals, especially in terms of student satisfaction. The good old days for international students, however, came to a standstill in 2012 when the then-home secretary Theresa May scrapped the post-study work permit. This move also turned out to be a major setback for the domestic universities in the UK, which witnessed a strong decline in the number of higher education students from several countries including India.

However, in the wake of a recent announcement by the UK government, the situation seems extremely likely to become favourable once again.

Re-launching the two-year post-study work visa

In its latest statement, the Boris Johnson government has effectively reinstated the two-year post-study work visa policy abolished by his predecessor, Theresa May. The development is expected to pull in more international students by enabling them to seek professional opportunities at any skill level within the UK, for two years, once they complete their studies.

Similarly, after the completion of their studies, students would be allowed to switch onto the skilled work visa in case they find jobs – something that had been revoked by the previous regime. Currently, international students pursuing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees only get the permission to stay and work for four months while those studying at 27 universities on a pilot scheme are given six months for seeking jobs.

Benefits to Indian students

The announcement by the UK government will significantly benefit Indian students planning to pursue academic opportunities in the 2020-21 academic year. In particular, it will give a major fillip to Indian students for whom post-study work visa is a deciding factor when it comes to studying abroad.

What else students should be aware of?

To avail the benefits of this visa route, students must know that it will be a separate visa and calls for a new application form to be filled, inclusive of immigration health surcharge and payment of a visa fee. Moreover, graduates whose leave expires before the visa’s implementation (2020-21) will be disqualified and won’t be eligible for the benefits.

Benefits to employers at the UK

It will also have a positive impact on employers in the UK who were having a difficult time in the absence of the post-study work visa. 44% of employers faced issues with recruiting new talent whereas 34% experienced employee retention challenges last year, as per CIPD data. The reinstatement of the two-year work visa is a welcome move that will address these pressing concerns while giving employers access to a larger pool of talented graduates to work in and drive growth for their organizations.

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