The government has a strong offer for overseas students who graduate in the UK. International graduates can remain in the UK to work following their studies by switching to several existing visa routes, including Tier 2 (skilled worker) visas. The International Education Strategy, published on 16 March 2019, sets out actions to continue to provide a welcoming environment for international students and includes our ambition to increase the number of international students we host to 600,000 by 2030. The actions include extending the post study leave period for students and considering where the visa process could be improved. The International Education Strategy can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-education-strategy-global-potential-global-growth/international-education-strategy-global-potential-global-growth.
Department for Education ministers have had discussions on the future immigration system with ministers from the Home Office. The immigration white paper proposes increasing the post study leave period for international students following completion of studies to: 12 months for those completing a PhD, and 6 months for all full time postgraduate and undergraduate students at institutions with degree awarding powers.
The Home Office has launched a 12 month extensive engagement programme to take views from business and other stakeholders from a wide range of sectors on the Immigration white paper. In addition, it will continue to work with other government departments, to hear their priorities, concerns and ideas about the future immigration system to ensure that it is efficient and able to respond to users’ needs.