Statement made on 4 March 2021
Statement made by
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Future Borders and Immigration
My Rt Hon friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House a Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules.
We have made a change to the Immigration Rules which will open the new Graduate route to enable international students to remain in the UK to work, or look for work, for two years (three years for doctoral students) after they have completed their studies. The route will open on 1 July 2021. All international students who have successfully completed a degree (or other qualifying course) at undergraduate level or above at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance, and who have valid Student (or Tier 4) permission, will be able to apply. The Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) will close when the Graduate route opens. The introduction of this route, which was announced in September 2019, will significantly improve the UK's offer to international students.
We are making changes to accommodate the launch of the new Graduate route. The first change is to expand the definition of a new entrant to include those switching from the Graduate route. Time spent in the Graduate route will count towards the maximum period of four years for which a person can be considered a new entrant. We are also making a change so those previously on the Student or Graduate routes, who make a short visit the UK, do not disqualify themselves from being considered a new entrant.