Under the current rules, students can work in Britain for two years after finishing their courses but the government claims that the system is being abused with people using student visas to enter the country and then dropping out of their studies to look for employment.
The Conservative Immigration Minister, Damian Green said in the past “too many students have come to UK to work rather than studies and this abuse must end”. He said “It is vital that we continue to attract the brightest and the best international students but we have to be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay”.
In a statement, the Home Office said that from April 6, “a more selective system” would come into effect so that “only the most talented international graduates can apply to stay in the UK for work purposes”. “That means only those graduating from a university, and having a job offer from a reputable employer accredited by the UK Border Agency at a salary of £ 20,000 or more, will be able to continue living and working in the UK in order to benefit the British economy”, it said.
To boost the economy, student entrepreneurs with at least “£ 50,000 to invest in their business” will also be allowed to stay on and work after their studies. Under a new “Graduate Entrepreneur” scheme, up to 1000 university places will be available for students “working on world-class innovative ideas who want to stay and develop them but do not meet the requirements of the Tier1, ie.. Entrepreneur route”.
Businesses and universities have warned that too many restrictions would drive away international talent and ultimately hurt the economy. Non-EU students contribute nearly £8 billion to British economy every year, an estimated £6 billion in fee alone. The Financial Times said that “This scheme is more restrictive than the old post-study work and we are concerned that some Russell Group courses have already seen a drop of 30% from India include Oxford and Cambridge”.