Suella Braverman plans to cut post-study student visa stay in UK, media report says

London:

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman is said to be on a collision course with the country’s education department over plans to reduce the allowed period of stay for overseas students on a post-visa. studies, according to a British media report on Wednesday.

The new graduate visa route, which allows overseas graduates – including Indians – to stay on job-hunting and gain work experience for up to two years without the requirement of a specific job posting, should be removed as part of Braverman’s proposed review.

According to ‘The Times’, the Indian-born Home Secretary has hatched a plan to ‘reform’ the graduate visa route requiring students to obtain work visas by getting a skilled job or leaving the country. UK after six months. The newspaper refers to leaked advice to say the UK Department for Education (DfE) is trying to block the changes as they fear it will damage the UK’s attractiveness to international students.

A government source who supports Braverman’s plan said the graduate visa was increasingly being used by students taking short courses at “less respectable universities”.

“It is being used as a devious immigration route,” the newspaper quoted the source as saying.

The DfE, however, argues that the two-year higher education visa, often referred to as the UK’s post-study offer, was in line with most major UK competitors, with only the US offering a higher education visa. ‘a year.

According to the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Indians overtook Chinese as the largest cohort of overseas students last year and the new graduate visa route, introduced in July 2021 , was dominated by Indians – accounting for 41 percent of the visas granted.

Braverman’s proposal is said to be among several drawn up after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak asked the Home Office and the DfE to submit proposals to reduce the number of overseas students coming to the UK. Figures released last week showed there were 680,000 overseas students in the UK. The government’s 2019 higher education strategy included a target of 600,000 students by 2030, which was achieved even last year.

Another proposal under consideration would allow foreign students to bring dependent family members with them only if they were taking postgraduate research courses such as a doctorate or postgraduate courses lasting at least less than two years.

The UK Home Office declined to comment on the leak, but a government spokesperson said: “Our points-based system is designed to be flexible to UK needs, including attracting top talent from around the world to contribute to the UK’s excellent academic reputation and to help keep our universities competitive on the global stage.

“We constantly monitor all of our immigration policies to ensure that they best serve the country and reflect public priorities.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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