With the extension of the entry deadline of the UK’s new Graduate Route or post-study work visa, Indian students are set to benefit from the decision. The Home Office has extended the deadline from June 21 to September 27, 2021.
The Graduate Route visa or the PSW visa was launched by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel in 2020, which allows eligible international students to work, look for work in the UK for two years after completion of their study programme.
The visa was introduced for students continuing their courses remotely amid the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions. Such students who began their courses in Autumn 2020 were expected to arrive in the UK by June 21, 2021 in order to qualify for the Graduate Route. However, the Home Office has now extended the deadline to September 27, 2021.
The guidance issued by the Home Office also mentioned that students who started their studies in January or February 2021 also needed to be in the UK by the same deadline, i.e. September 27, 2021.
This decision came after student representatives including the National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK (NISAU) campaigned for a deadline extension after India was added to the UK’s ‘red list’ travel ban on April 23.
Indian students with valid UK student visas were, however, allowed to travel to the UK. But, many have had to postpone their plans due to India’s second wave and also bear an additional cost of around GBP 1,750 for a mandatory 10-day hotel quarantine upon arrival in Britain.
NISAU UK chair Sanam Arora said that they were delighted to hear the news which will help Indian students who have not been able to travel to the UK because of the Covid situation in the country.
Indian students, who are one of the largest sources of international students in the UK, would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this extension.
According to the most recent statistics issued by the UK Home Office, there was an increase of 6,391 in the number of study visa grants from Indian students by March 2021, amounting to a 13% increase from the previous year.
Director, British Council India, Barbara Wickhlam, advised Indian students travelling to the UK to contact their universities and follow travel rules specific to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.
Indian students arriving in the UK in the next few months will be able to access Covid-19 vaccinations by registering with a local doctor.
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