Go-getters don’t have to go home: government tweaks student visas

Graduates entrepreneurs with “world-class innovative ideas” will be allowed to remain in the UK beyond their university studies, as the government responds to criticisms of its new visa regime for overseas students.

February 13, 2012

Up to 1,000 places for non-EU students will be made available under the Graduate Entrepreneur Route, immigration minister Damian Green confirmed.

Overseas students can currently work in the UK for two years after their course has finished, but tighter restrictions on post-work study will be introduced in April.

From then, only graduates with a job offer from a reputable employer accredited by the UK Border Agency at a salary of at least £20,000 will be able to continue living and working in the UK.

The tightening of the regime is part of moves to cut net immigration from about 250,000 a year to the “tens of thousands” by the end of the Parliament.

Mr Green said: “It is vital that we continue to attract the brightest and the best international students but we have to be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay.”

The Home Office said the new route meant “young entrepreneurs or small company directors will get the chance to stay on in the UK after their studies if they have £50,000 to invest in their business”.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, welcomed the initiative, but said it would only affect “a small number of international students”.

She added: “We support the elimination of abuse in the visa system but are concerned that an unintended consequence of the changes to Tier 4 [the level of the immigration system used by students] is that legitimate students will be put off, or prevented from studying in the UK.

“International students at our world renowned universities should not be treated as migrants for the purposes of the government’s net migration figures, since the majority of them leave the UK at the end of their studies.”

Ms Dandridge said the new rules on post-study work “could harm the UK’s international competitiveness, and the competitiveness of universities in the international student market”.


You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Visiting Professor of Drawing ARTS UNIVERSITY BOURNEMOUTH
Lecturer/Assistant Professor of Psychology UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)
Lecturer/Assistant Professor of Geography UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)
Lecturer/Assistant Professor of Economics UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)
Lecturer/Assistant Professor (BDIC) UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (UCD)

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Classroom, school

Higher education institutions can and should do more to influence education at a secondary school level, says Edward Peck