The UK Home Office has announced that the deadline for university students to arrive in the UK to qualify for the UK graduate route visa has been extended to 27 September 2021.
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The graduate work visa, also known as the post-study work visa or PSW visa, allows all international students who have successfully completed a degree in the UK to stay in the country for work for up to three years post-graduation.
To qualify for the visa, international students previously had to be in the UK by 21 June 2021 if they began their studies in autumn 2020. By extending this deadline to 27 September this year, the Home Office aims to accommodate those international students still studying remotely in their home countries due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
This is particularly good news for Indian students, who are one among the largest groups of international students at UK universities.
India was placed on the UK’s “red list” travel ban on 23 April 2021, amid concern over the Covid Delta variant. Although there were exemptions to this ban for international students, many Indian students had to postpone their arrival in the UK because of rising cases at home and concerns over the 10-day hotel quarantine in Britain at an additional cost of £1,750.
This extension means that international students have more time to prepare to arrive in the UK and still be eligible for the graduate route visa. Students will also have access to Covid-19 vaccines once in the UK if they register with a doctor after they arrive.
The graduate route visa was introduced to help international graduates from UK universities begin their careers in Britain. Graduates do not need a job offer to apply for the visa and there is no minimum salary to be eligible. Once granted the visa, graduates can work flexibly and switch jobs as required, according to the UK Home Office.