What is the graduate route visa that UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was planning to end?

What is the graduate route visa that UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was planning to end?

Graduate Route Visa: The visa has a duration of two years.

After strong opposition from key cabinet members, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak decided not to go ahead with his plan to scrap the graduate visa. Sunak was previously considering scrapping it as a way to reduce migration numbers.

What is a graduate route visa?

The Graduate visa allows you to “stay in the UK for at least 2 years after completing a course” in the country, says the official UK government site.

In 2023, the postgraduate visa provided more than 50,000 Indian students with post-study job opportunities. This represented 44% of all student visa extensions and the highest number among all nationalities.

Eligibility

You can apply for the graduate visa if you are in the UK. The eligibility criteria also require that a person has “studied an undergraduate, postgraduate or other eligible course in the UK for a minimum period of time”.

You are eligible only if you have completed a course “on your student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa”.

How long can you stay in the UK on this visa?

A postgraduate visa lasts for two years. However, if you have a PhD or other doctoral degree, it is valid for three years.

It is worth noting that the Graduate visa, which cannot be extended, begins on the day your application is approved.

How much does it cost?

The application fee costs £822, while the health surcharge will cost £1,035 a year.

When can a person apply for a Graduate visa?

A person must apply for the postgraduate visa before their “student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa” expires.

According to the UK authorities, you can apply after your education provider (university or college) informs the Home Office that you have completed the course you took on your student or Tier 4 (General) student visa. “You don’t have to wait until you graduate or receive a certificate. As part of your application, you will need to prove your identity and provide your documents,” the UK government website says.

Once you have applied online, proven your identity and submitted your documents, you will typically receive a decision on your visa within eight weeks, officials say. You can stay in the UK while you wait for a decision.

Who is all against the elimination of the graduate visa?

The National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK (NISAU UK), which represents Indian students and alumni in the UK, has urged the UK Prime Minister to protect the visa policy.

Additionally, the UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) also recommended maintaining the visa policy, noting that there is no evidence of “abuse” of the policy.