Amid the continuing chaos over Brexit, Britain’s government on Wednesday introduced a measure of stability and certainty for recent foreign graduates.
Foreign students will be allowed to remain in the U.K. for two more years after their graduation, the government announced.
The new visa extension for graduates with bachelor's or master’s degrees will come into effect for those starting their studies in 2020-2021.
Under the current regulations, graduates are allowed to stay in the country for four months – a regulation introduced in 2012 by then-Home Secretary and future Prime Minister Theresa May.
The visa extension would be conditional and based on the students studying at institutions complying with U.K. immigration checks.
“The important contribution international students make to our country and universities is both cultural and economic. Their presence benefits Britain, which is why we’ve increased the period of time these students can remain in the UK after their studies,” said Gavin Williamson, the education secretary.
“Our universities thrive on being open global institutions. Introducing the graduate route ensures our prestigious higher education sector will continue to attract the best talent from around the world to global Britain,” he added.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the new route “demonstrates our global outlook and will ensure that we continue to attract the best and brightest.”