A facility that allowed Indian students to work here for two years after their courses are over will be closed from tomorrow as part of the Cameron government's drive to cut migration, which may put-off those aspiring to study in the UK.
Under the Tier 1 (Post-study work) route, Indian and other non-EU students were able to take up work for two years here after the completion of their university courses. This route will be closed from tomorrow, the home office has announced.
The facility was popular among self-financing Indian students who sought to recover some of the expenses of studying here by working for two years.
The facility also enabled them to gain work experience in the UK that was seen to aid career prospects in India. There are already reports of falling numbers of Indian students applying for university courses starting from September 2012.
From tomorrow, following the closure of the facility, international students will be able to apply for leave to remain in the UK under other immigration routes if they meet the criteria, but most such students are unlikely to meet the higher income level and other criteria.
International students are estimated to contribute over 14 billion pounds annually to the UK economy.
The closure of the post-study route was opposed by Universities UK and the British Council, given the possibility that the measure would reduce Britain's attraction as a destination for students from India and other non-EU countries.
Prime Minister David Cameron had promised to crack down on immigration at last year's Conservative party conference.