Home Office pilots more generous visa scheme for international postgraduate students

Posted On: 
1st August 2016

Some international students at prestigious universities will automatically be allowed to stay on in the UK for six months after their courses end, under a scheme being trialled by the Government. 

The visa pilot will run at four universities for two academic years
PA Images

Non-EU nationals applying for a one-year master’s degree at Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College and Bath will be able to access a streamlined process to obtain their visa.

The extra six months at the end of the visa could be used to seek a job that would allow them to remain in the UK under the Tier 2 visa programme, or to apply for another course.

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The SNP has compared the pilot to the post-study work visa, which was scrapped in 2012 and allowed students to remain in the UK for two years after their course finished.

“After a long-running campaign by Scotland’s universities for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa, it beggars belief that the Tories have completely excluded Scotland from a similar pilot scheme,” said SNP MSP Sandra White.

“Every political party in Scotland, our colleges, our universities and businesses want to see a return of the post-study work visa.

“Excluding Scotland from a similar scheme for masters students can only be viewed as a deliberate snub – and one that shows shocking disregard for the international success of Scottish universities.

“We should be encouraging the best and brightest from around the world to learn in Scotland – it’s essential that Scotland is given the powers to do this.”

Theresa May oversaw a series of measures to tighten up the visa regime for international students when she was Home Secretary.