And Home Office head of Student Migration Policy, Paul Jeffrey, confirmed during the Universities UK conference it is highly likely that the new regulations will apply to those students graduating in 2021.
“I think we can very very confidently say that anyone who graduates from the summer of 2021 onwards will also benefit, that includes those who are currently in the UK now starting their [undergraduate] degrees,” he told delegates.
Explaining that there is “significant technical work” to do amid the wider context of immigration changes as the country leaves the EU, for that reason, “we are not able to say categorically when this route will be introduced”, he said.
But the Home Office expects the new rule to become law in the first half of 2021, and anyone in the country on a Tier 4 status will immediately become eligible for the post-study extension.
Jeffrey noted the government can say “with absolute certainty” that any student enrolling in 2020/21 will benefit, and furthermore that the rule is expected to become law in 2021.
Initially, the Home Office press announcement only stated that the rule “would include students who have Tier 4 at the point the route is introduced. This includes students who start courses in 2020/21 at undergraduate level or above”.
International students half-way through their courses took to social media to query how it might impact them.
Jeffrey also confirmed that international students can access any level of job in any sector, so the rights are “unrestricted”.
International students can access any level of job in any sector
They will need to be in the country when they make the application to switch from the student route into the graduate route.
It will be an “unsponsored route”, so there is no requirement for universities to maintain responsibility for their graduates while they try to access the jobs market.
They can then switch from this route into the skilled worker sponsored route, in due course, and there will be no access to benefits while on the graduate route.