The Post-Study Work (PSW) visa is set to make a return, after it was dramatically scrapped by Theresa May during her time as a Home Secretary in 2012. In a reversal of the previous government’s strategy, the route is expected to reopen from 2020.
The previous Post-Study Work visa was a popular route for international students on the Tier 4 visa. It allowed them to remain in the UK for 2 years after completing their degree to seek employment. Those who were successful were then able to switch into the Tier 1 (General) (now closed) or the Tier 2 (General) visas, without having to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test. It is unclear whether the Tier 1 (General) route will also reopen.
More details of the revamped PSW visa will emerge in the coming months. The key facts of this visa are likely to be:
This proposal will affect nearly 450,000 international students who are already in the UK and is likely encourage more foreign students to choose the UK as a preferred option. The move has been welcomed by various stakeholders including Universities UK.
The announcement is welcome news for both employers, students and universities in the UK. This will help plug the skills gap which has been growing over the last few years. It will also assist universities in generating revenue and focus on providing local students.
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