1 July 2021
The UK Government has confirmed that COVID-19 concessions on visa rules around a requirement to be in the UK to study will be extended to 6th April 2022 for the next intake.
Kevin Foster, the UK’s Minister for Immigration, stressed that the government would encourage students to consider 6 April as a “deadline, not a target for arrival”. The announcement comes on the day the new Graduate Visa Route, where international graduates who have been awarded their degree from a UK university can stay on and look for work for at least two years, is officially launched (1st July).
The update also confirms that new international students will be able to begin studying remotely if health and visa protocols require them to do so, but can still be eligible for post study work visa upon graduating.
Russell Group head of policy, Stephanie Smith, added, “This is a sensible move that will help protect student and community health. It’s the best call the government could have made given the circumstance".
The move is reassuring for Indian students waiting to accept their offers for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year as India is currently in the red-list requiring students to undertake a 10-day mandatory hotel quarantine upon arrival in the UK.
According to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, “last year more than 56,000 Indian nationals were granted a student visa, that's a 13 per cent increase on the previous year, and that is almost now a quarter of all student visas issued by the UK”.
The extension will allow Indian students for the 2021-22 intake to start their course remotely from India without jeopardising their chances of staying in the UK later or their eligibility to apply for the new Graduate Immigration Route.
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