With Brexit just around the corner, we're seeing an influx in changes to the UK work permit lately. Recently, the Home Office revealed that students in UK universities that come from overseas will now be able to extend their visit to the UK by another two years as they look for employment after gaining their approved bachelor's or master's degree.
The new rules for the UK work permit re-introduce the concept of a post-study work visa for those in 2020 and beyond intake into universities within the country. These new UK visas will give students two years to look for work in any career that they choose for two years after they complete their studies. Following this two year period, the graduate would need to apply for and successfully obtain a tier 2 work permit to remain in the country.
According to data from the Universities UK organisation, there were almost 320,000 non-EU students from across the globe studying in the UK between 2017 and 2018. Currently, international students make up about 20% of the total number of students taking UK chemical engineering courses - highlighting the need for ambitious academics to come into the country from around the world.
Think tanks believe that the introduction of the new post-study visa will be a positive step forward for the UK. It means that the UK's science and engineering economy will have a chance to find the talent that it needs with tier 2 work permits for international graduates. This is particularly important at a time when other English speaking countries around the world allow graduates to stay in their locations for significantly longer after graduating. The US and Canada, for instance, both offer a 3-year post-graduate visa to their students.
The introduction of a UK work permit for post-graduate students is something that Universities and students around the country have campaigned for over a number of years. Groups like Universities UK believe that this change will put the UK back on the map for international study.