Government to Parliament Plan: New UK Student Visa Rules Limit Scope of Work Until Graduation


Recently, there have been numerous changes in the Visa policies of the United Kingdom (UK). These new regulations pertaining to UK student visas pose greater challenges for individuals seeking permanent migration from India to the UK. Moreover, during a recent session, the government explicitly stated that these revised Visa rules will considerably impede students from engaging in employment prior to completing their studies. Allow me to provide you with further details on these developments.

New UK Student Visa Rules Will Prevent Students from Working Before Graduation

The new student visa regulations in the UK took effect on July 17th of this year. According to a recent article in Ommcom News, the government has stated that foreign students will be discouraged from working until they have completed their studies.

On Friday, August 11th, S Jaishankar, the external affairs minister, addressed the parliament and informed them about the new regulations. He emphasized that international students will be discouraged from transitioning to work routes before they have successfully completed their graduation programs.

In order for students to pursue full-time employment, it is imperative that they first complete their studies. Additionally, it was emphasized that the newly implemented visa regulations will impact students from all nations. It was further disclosed that a staggering 139,539 Indian students have chosen to study in the UK in 2022 alone, excluding any accompanying dependents.

One of the primary reasons behind the UK’s stringent measures to tighten student visa regulations is the fact that it has become the most accessible pathway for migration. Numerous individuals choose to pursue education in the UK, only to later secure employment and eventually establish permanent residency.

Why Are the New Rules So Strict?

The United Kingdom’s intensified efforts to curb student visa abuse stem from the recognition that this route has become a popular means of migration. A significant number of individuals initially arrive in the UK under the guise of pursuing education, yet ultimately veer towards seeking employment opportunities and eventually settling in the country.

By implementing stricter rules and regulations surrounding student visas, the UK aims to address the issue of individuals exploiting this pathway for migration purposes. This crackdown seeks to ensure that the student visa system is utilized solely for its intended purpose of facilitating genuine educational pursuits, rather than serving as a backdoor for immigration.

This task will now become considerably more challenging as graduate students will no longer have the option to bring their dependents with them. Only individuals engaged in post-graduate studies or participating in specific research programs will be permitted to bring their dependents along.

 This change will undoubtedly pose a greater difficulty for graduate students, as they will no longer have the privilege of having their dependents accompany them. Going forward, only those pursuing post-graduate studies or involved in designated research programs will be granted the opportunity to bring their dependents along.

Read More: BVI Delegation Visits UK Parliament To Build Strong Relations

Work Route Restriction in UK for International Students

According to the new policy, international students will not be allowed to switch from the student route to the work route before completing their graduation. Officials also assert that by limiting the ability of international students to bring dependents and preventing early switches to work routes, the educational experience of international students will be given priority.

The government aims to ensure that students can fully concentrate on their studies and actively contribute to the research programs they are enrolled in by curbing distractions and potential misuse of the visa system.

The introduction of these regulations signifies a notable departure from the previous policy, which granted international students the privilege of having their family members accompany them during their studies in the United Kingdom.

As per the UK government, the revised policies will not impact students who are currently pursuing their education in the UK or those who have already arranged for their families to join them prior to the implementation date. These rules will solely be applicable to fresh student visa applicants starting from January 2024, with the exception of individuals enrolled in postgraduate research programs.

Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary of the UK, has underscored the significance of attracting outstanding students, as it not only benefits universities and the economy but also fosters the development of vital global relationships.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.