To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential effect on improving the attractiveness of the UK as a destination for higher education studies of (a) allowing years of study to count towards those years required for settled status and (b) enhancing ease of transfer to a work visa upon completion of qualification.
12 March 2021
The launch of the Graduate route on 1 July 2021, significantly enhances our offer to international students by providing students who successfully complete an eligible qualification at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance, the opportunity to work or look for work for two years (three years for PhD students) after completing their course.
Those on the Graduate Route will be able to work in any role, except as a professional sportsperson. They will also be able to switch into the Skilled Worker route at any point during their Graduate permission, if they find a job which meets the criteria for it.
The launch of the Skilled Worker route on 1 December 2021, with its broader skills threshold of RQF level 3 and the salary threshold of £25,600, also allows more flexibility for the types of profession which students can pursue in the UK after they graduate. In addition, the new entrant provision, enabling certain applicants to qualify with a reduced salary threshold has also been extended to include applicants who are under 26 on the date of application. These changes in combination benefit all students who wish to switch into the Skilled Worker route and make it easier to meet the requirements for the route.
Time spent studying under the Student route is not counted towards settlement. The route is a temporary route for the purpose of undertaking a course of study within the UK, rather than to settle. Students are able to switch into routes which count towards settlement such as the Skilled Worker route.