Indians to benefit from extension of UK student visa pilot to more universities
The scheme provides support for students who wish to switch to a work visa and take up a graduate role by allowing them to remain in the UK for six months after they have finished their course.world Updated: Dec 18, 2017 23:09 IST
A student visa pilot introduced in July 2016 at four British universities, which allows Indian and other non-EU students extra time after their course ends to find employment, was extended to 23 more universities on Monday.
The pilot aims to streamline the process for international students looking to study on a Masters course of 13 months or less. It also provides support for students who wish to switch to a work visa and take up a graduate role, by allowing them to remain in the UK for six months after they have finished their course, instead of the usual two months.
The pilot was introduced at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London. The 23 additional universities were selected based on their low visa refusal rates, the Home Office said. They will be able to apply the pilot to their 2018-19 intake.
Following a 50% drop in the number of Indian students coming to the UK since 2010 due to tighter visa curbs and the closure of the post-study work visa in 2012, recent years have shown a marginal increase.
Universities in the pilot are given responsibility for eligibility checks, meaning that students can submit fewer documents than required in the current process alongside their visa applications.The additional 23 universities are based across the UK.
Immigration minister Brandon Lewis said: “I am delighted to announce the expansion of this pilot which is part of our ongoing activity to ensure that our world-leading institutions remain highly competitive.
“The UK continues to be the second most popular destination for international students and the number coming to study at our universities has increased by 24% since 2010. This is a clear indication that genuine students are welcome and there is no limit on the number who can come to study in the UK.”
The 23 universities are Cardiff University, Goldsmiths University of London, Harper Adams University, Newcastle University, Queen’s University Belfast, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of Bristol, Durham University, University of East Anglia, University of Edinburgh, University of Essex, University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, University of Leicester, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, University of Reading, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, The University of Wales Trinity St David (Swansea Campus), University of Warwick, University of York.