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RCM students

New two-year visas for international graduates

Tuesday 17 September 2019

The UK government has announced that international students starting their studies in 2020/21 will be allowed to stay in the UK for two years after graduating. Individuals will be able to work, or look for work, in any sector and at any level during the two-year period.

The new ‘graduate route’ will provide greater opportunities for talented international students to remain in the UK after study. It will be open to international students who have successfully completed a course of study at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education institution with a track record of compliance, and who have a valid and extant student visa at the time of application.

The application process will be simple and those on the graduate route will be able to switch to the skilled work route if they meet the requirements. Students starting their studies in the 2020/21 academic year will be able to apply for the new visa at the end of their course.  

Professor Colin Lawson, Director of the RCM, comments: ‘This is good news for the Royal College of Music’s large international community, who choose to study with us because of the world-class education we offer and will now benefit from more opportunities to work and flourish in the UK after graduating.’

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK also welcomed the decision, saying: ‘Evidence shows that international students bring significant positive social outcomes to the UK as well as £26 billion in economic contributions.’ He claimed the new route would reinstate the UK as a ‘first choice study destination’ for international students.

Read more about the new visas on the BBC News website.