Ever since the Post Study Work scheme was abolished, the main (but quite restricted) way in which some international students could stay on and work in skilled jobs has been by switching to Tier 2 assisted by the concessions that they were exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) and the cap on Tier 2 visas as they had already lived and studied in the UK. Even with this, however, the number who qualified to do so was typically less than 6000 per year (compared to over 80,000 who qualified for Post Study Work) and numbers of reviews and select committees have recommended that given this reduction some form of Post Study Work schemes should be reconsidered.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) Report on Tier 2 however now recommends that not only minimum salary levels should be increased (to £23,000 for new entrants/graduates and £30,000 for others) but that those switching from Tier 4 should, in the future, be subject to both the RLMT and the Tier 2 cap.
UKCISA is very concerned that this will make it far more difficult for more than a very small number of students to qualify, could have very significant implications for the UK’s attractiveness as a study destination and hopes that the government will very carefully consider the overall impact of this measure, before implementation.
The report is available on the gov.uk website.
Members can find a summary in the members news area of the UKCISA website.