The UK Home Office has approved that international students will continue to be eligible for post-study work rights after their graduation if they start or carry on their education online in the 2020/21 academic year.

The update will be appreciated by those employed in universities and key stakeholders supporting the UK to come out combatting to keep its market share of international students.

International students will be entitled to get the graduate immigration route on condition that they are in the UK by April 6 and finish the final semester of their studies in the UK.

The guidance states that “If international students are obligated to either carry on their current studies or start a new degree course by distance or blended learning because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they will still be allowed to move into the Graduate route on a concessionary basis if they exhausted some time studying outside the UK”.


The graduate route was publicised in September 2019, scheduled to come on course as the UK attunes its immigration system and officially leaves the European Union.

Gary Davies, PVC for student recruitment and business development at LMU asked for additional guidance from UKVI: UK sector bodies are calling for the UK government to extend the time period for submitting visa applications to six months from the present three to provide students assurance that they will have a valid visa when they come back to the UK.

The closing of embassies and language testing centres have triggered extensive concerns world-wide about delays in visa processing affecting the dreams of thousands of international students.

Post-study work visa announcement play an important role in inviting and keeping international students, with the UK understood to have lost market share since work rights were withdrawn couple of years ago.

When the UK Home Office explained rules in updated Tier 4 guidance, the previous UK universities minister Jo Johnson suggested the UK government to double the time period of the UK post-study work visa from two to four years to aid the sector overpower the double shock caused by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was also observed that organisations including Universities UK International (UUKi), UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and British Universities’ International Liaison Association (BUILA) also demand for delayed execution of visa system in Europe to January 2022 to evade imposing new hurdles for EU students.

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