How UK Visa Review Expected to Affect Indian Students Heading to the UK
How UK Visa Review Expected to Affect Indian Students Heading to the UK

Many students from India planning to pursue higher studies in the UK this year might face uncertainty. There's speculation that the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) will discontinue the popular post-study work (PSW) visa in its upcoming report on May 14. This visa allows international students to work in various sectors for two years after completing their studies, similar to native citizens. Its potential removal could significantly impact international students, including those from India, who view it as a crucial incentive for studying in the UK.

What is the MAC Review?

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is responsible for reviewing post-study work visas. If the PSW visa is abolished, it would prevent international students, including those from India, from staying in the UK after completing their studies, potentially affecting them adversely.

When Will the Decision be Made?

The report deadline is May 14, as commissioned by Home Secretary James Cleverly on March 11. Cleverly highlighted that in 2023, only a small percentage of international graduates qualified for work routes with salaries meeting the general threshold, indicating potential concerns regarding the efficacy of the PSW visa.

What is the Post-Study Work Visa?

Introduced in July 2021 after a ten-year hiatus, the PSW visa permits international students to work in any job, regardless of its relation to their studies, without needing employer sponsorship or a work permit. This two-year visa offers unrestricted employment opportunities, akin to those enjoyed by citizens.

How Does it Affect Indian Students?

In 2023, Indian students were issued 120,000 student visas out of the total 457,000 issued globally. This significant increase from 2019 can be attributed to the introduction of the PSW visa, making India the largest source of participants in the Graduate route. The spike in Indian students indicates the importance of the PSW visa in attracting talent to the UK.

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