New Post-Study Visa Rules Explained

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You have probably heard that new visa regulations were announced last week by the British Home Secretary, Theresa May. If you are already studying in the UK and hope to stay here to work after university then you may understandably be worried about these changes.

Post-Study Work Visas

To make it clear how the Post-Study Work visa regulations have changed, here are the basics:

  • The Post-Study Work Route that allows students free access to work in the UK for 2 years after they finish studying is being closed.
  • To stay and work, you must have a job offer from a sponsoring employer. This means that the firm has been registered with the government to accept overseas workers in the Tier-2 visa point system.
  • The job must be suitable for your skills and the starting salary must be a minimum of £20,000 a year.
  • This starts in April 2012, so students graduating this year will not be affected.


Working whilst you are studying

There are also tighter regulations on working whilst still a student:

  • International students at public universities and publicly funded Further Education Colleges will still be able to work 20 hours a week during term time. However, outside of term time, students on work placements must have a “study : work ratio” of minimum 50:50, ie you have to study the same amount of time as you work.
  • International students at private institutions will not be allowed to work at all during term time.

It is important to remember that all of these changes do not affect you if you are from an EEA country and currently pay ‘Home/EU’ fees.

However, it is also worth noting that laws will sometimes be introduced in the UK, only to be rescinded before they are even put into effect. What’s more, there is an overwhelming opposition to these new regulations from a number of high profile figures in education, so this will certainly not be the last you hear about post-study work visa changes.

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