International PhD Students in the UK Eligible for 3 Year Visa Extension: New Graduate Route

2 July 2020

The UK Government has announced an extension to the new graduate route announced in September 2019 for all international PhD students in the UK. According to the new changes introduced as part of a Global Talent Drive, PhD graduates, graduating from 2021, will be eligible for the new extension to three years post-graduation.

The UK Government plans to immediately establish an ‘Office for Talent’ as part of its drive to become a scientific superpower providing excellent customer service across immigration systems and reviewing applications for the proposed extension. The move seeks to attract global talent to the UK and make it a more attractive job market for highly skilled PhD graduates in 2021. 

According to Alok Sharma, business secretary, “The R&D Roadmap sets out our plan to attract global talent, cut unnecessary red tape and ensure our best minds get the support they need to solve the biggest challenges of our time.” The Graduate Route to the job market has already enhanced UK’s attractiveness as a global study destination and more improvements have been proposed as part of the UK’s new immigration system. These include extension of the window for prospective visa application for international students, removal of study time limits at the postgraduate level and allowing students to switch to other types of visa from within the UK. 

The new graduate route announced earlier allowed international students at all levels of study in the UK to stay and work or look for work in the UK for upto 2 years after completion of studies. 

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