In 2022 there were over 485,000 student visas granted according to the Government website. This represents a 29% increase compared with visas granted in 2021.
Many who come to the United Kingdom on a student visa complete their studies and apply for employment in the United Kingdom with their newly earned qualifications. This process involves obtaining sponsorship from an employer and applying for a work visa.
There are also those who have come to the UK to study and before completing their course have been able to secure sponsorship from an employer and have applied to switch from a student visa to a work visa, prior to completing their course. Immigration rules permit this, and we have helped those who have received an attractive offer midway through their studies do so.
Despite this, the Home Office has become increasingly concerned by the large increase in the number of students that are switching to work visas midway through their studies. The increase is something that the Home Office did not expect.
Change from January 2024
On 23rd May, the Home Office announced new restrictions to the student visa route. From January 2024, the Home Office’s new reforms will prevent overseas students from switching to a work visa until their studies have been completed. The government’s reasoning for this is to “prevent misuse of the visa system”.
This change is part of the government’s overall aim to cut net migration, a popular move with Conservative politicians and voters alike. Net migration was over 500,000 between June 2021 and June 2022, a figure expected to rise in tomorrow’s announcement by the Office for National Statistics. Home Secretary Suella Braverman has previously stated her aspiration to cut net migration to the “tens of thousands”, a figure unlikely to be achieved even with the latest announcement.
If you have been offered an attractive job offer and wish to switch, then contact us today and we will be happy to help.
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