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Is the UK Graduate Visa likely to be revoked?

Is the UK Graduate Visa likely to be revoked

Is the UK Graduate Visa likely to be revoked?

In this article I want to share three main points, first of all I want to share with you the risks and changes to a graduate Visa in the UK then I want to share my advice and what are my expectations of the proposed changes and finally I want to give you some recent updates statistics and figures of what has been happening to graduate Visa in the UK so far.

Changes to Graduate Visa

The good news is that nothing has been implemented just like two years ago in July 2021 the same rules apply for a graduate visa and people are successfully getting a graduate Visa in the UK upon graduation.

let me give you a quick update on what is a graduate Visa in the UK, sometimes it's called PSW or post-study work visa but the official name is graduate Visa, this Visa allows you to work for two years in the UK or for three years in the UK if you did a Ph.D. course and you can work in any job in any level any salary upon your graduation.

To get this Visa you just have to graduate from a relevant course, be in the UK when you apply, and have a student valid Visa, it doesn't matter which subject you studied or which grade you got in your degree as long as you successfully completed your course during your student visa. So, in summary, it's quite a good opportunity to get experience in the UK post-graduation and it will give you a chance to build a career in the UK long term as well because you can switch to a skilled worker visa or other visas after graduate visa and stay in UK long term.

so what have been the changes to graduate visas in the UK?

well, the good news is that there are no changes implemented yet but there have been talks in Parliament to implement changes, so what has the Home Secretary Suella Braverman suggested: she has a few ideas, she has an idea of reducing the number of student visas given each year, she has an idea of canceling graduate Visa all together, she also proposed perhaps reducing The Graduate visa from two years to six months and another idea is to reduce the number of dependents you can bring on a graduate Visa, what does it mean at the moment you can bring all the dependents that were with your on a student visa to a graduate Visa route but perhaps a little bit restriction of how many people and whether you can bring any dependents at all.

these are some of the changes that the Home Secretary has proposed to the Parliament and she has faced a lot of opposition from universities, different University organizations, the education minister, and so on. Still, there is no decision has been reached there is a risk that some of these changes might be implemented so maybe the graduate Visa will be canceled, maybe it will be reduced, and maybe the laws Around The Graduate Visa such as dependent laws and rules will change.

my advice and expectations

my expectations personally and my advice on what you should do as an international student, in reality I think that this future of graduate Visa is not stable, why do I think so well let me tell you a personal story:

I came to the UK in 2011 and when I arrived as a bachelor's student we had a similar thing in the UK to the graduate Visa there was a possibility to work after your degree in any job when I was graduating 2014 this Visa was no longer there because it was canceled in 2012. so as you can see I was one of the victims of changing laws and that's why I think that we should never rely on immigration laws staying stable in a country such as the UK where there are changes to immigration policies all the time changes in the parliament changes to Prime Ministers and so on that's why I think that there could be a change in policy in the future.

I don't think that it's going to be immediate and I don't think that it's going to be radical I don't think that it's going to be canceled completely why do I expect that I think that if there is still a huge understanding that students bring a lot of money to the economy, the economy is already not doing that well as you probably read in the news there has been an impact from covid Brexit and so on that's why I think that government is not going to risk completely changing the policy because if the graduate Visa is going to be canceled the UK will look way less attractive to International students as a destination and UK will have to compete with Australia, US, Canada for international students and it will find it hard to compete with these countries if there will be no graduate Visa.

at the same time, they could propose some changes as I said and we should expect that since it takes time for Parliament to pass laws and then for these laws to be implemented even if the changes will take place as it won't be immediate probably the end of this year or beginning of 2024 in my opinion.

If you are an international student what should you do

well first of all never choose the UK or any other country just because they have certain visa rules, why is that because immigration policies change all the time as I said so try to choose a country for studies based on other factors for example the course, the structure of Education, how you like the culture, the language, maybe also Global career prospects because if you just rely on the Visa you might be disappointed.

the second thing I want to say is that if you probably come into a master's soon you probably will still have a chance to benefit from a graduate Visa but if you or if you're already studying in the UK but if you're coming a bachelor's degree which is usually three to four years at least then definitely there could be a lot of changes in the world and you shouldn't rely on a graduate Visa.

another reason why you shouldn't rely on a graduate Visa is even if you graduate from UK University and you complete your course you might still not be eligible and a lot of people don't know that let me tell you how this can happen, if you, for example, fail any parts of your course or coursework and you have to retake it to get your degree results you might retake it or do the coursework while your student visa expires and if you didn't graduate from your degree while you still have a valid student visa you won't be eligible for a graduate visa and unfortunately sometimes University doesn't extend your student visa to allow you to complete your failed modules.

I don't want to stress you out you probably will benefit from a graduate Visa but you should always have a plan B you should think about how you can change to a skilled worker visa if you need to have other work visas in the UK, what can I do to not completely rely on this Visa, what is my career plan, how I'm going to work on my career goals while I'm still studying in the UK.

a lot of my clients didn't even have to switch to a graduate Visa they switched to skilled worker visa straight after University because they secured the job while they were still studying in the UK another thing is that I started working in this space before graduate Visa was implemented in 2021 and as I mentioned I was also the student that had to find a sponsored job when I was graduating and it is possible and a lot of students done it before graduate Visa was there obviously it's way more stressful it's way more difficult but it is possible.

Graduate visa Reality

so let me cover the final part of this article which is basically what has been the recent updates what are the recent numbers are telling us about The Graduate Visa.

very important research has been done by Kaplan and HEPI organizations which interviewed 656 companies to find out their opinions about graduate Visa in the UK and you'll be surprised but three percent of companies only three percent of these companies that were interviewed or surveyed used Graduate Visa, maybe the number is higher if you interview every single company in the UK but maybe it's even lower so it's very very short on the number of companies that use this Visa.

the second opinion that has emerged from this study by interviewing companies is that 20 of these companies won't use this Visa at all they don't want to consider using it so that's quite a lot and it tells you that you know some companies just say no thank you and the most shocking statistics to me is that around 30% or 27% of companies haven't heard of this Visa, they haven't heard about it, they don't know what it means to hire someone on a graduate visa

so This research summarizes that there is still a lack of awareness among UK employers about The Graduate visa and there is a reluctance to use it but obviously, some companies still hire international students and still use it and it feels like bigger companies have a better knowledge about it comparing to small to medium-sized firms.

but surprisingly according to this research 20% of these companies sponsored visas for international students or international workers which seems quite contradictory because it's harder to sponsor someone than hire them on a graduate Visa so it seems like maybe there is still time that needs to be passed, there is still information that needs to be delivered to a company, maybe the time needs need to pass for them to get to know the graduate Visa or maybe there just hasn't been enough publicity about it or marketing around it so that's why they are not aware and they prefer to sponsor or maybe is it just sponsoring is something that they prefer because it's more long term.

Another research I want to share with you was done by AGCAS organization which interviewed around thousand International students that are on a graduate Visa in the UK and they found that 60 percent were employed so that's good, they were employed a graduate Visa 60% but it's not 100% and it's still just about the half of students and more than half of these people that are employed are in skilled jobs so graduate level jobs not working in the supermarket or delivery they work in a company that probably requires some sort of skill on a graduate level requires a degree so that's good so 60% are employed and out of the 60% let's say around 40 percent of all international students surveyed are in a skilled position which good news.