London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, is proposing a UK visa for Indian students so that they can work for up to two years after graduating from a UK university. His proposed work visa would first be rolled out to Indian students, and possibility later to other citizens of the Commonwealth, also potentially allowing them to work for two years in the UK after finishing their degree.
Johnson is also proposing a work visa for graduates in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for up to two years to meet the critical skills shortage in the UK.
While Indian press is reporting that the proposal has been proposed to the UK Government, our official sources have said that so far it has not. Also, it is important to clarify that London’s Mayor has no formal power over immigration policy, and currently, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, is still on a target to reduce the number of Non-EU migrants settling in the UK.
As such, it is unlikely that the proposal will be accepted and implemented in the near future. However, the French Government did implement a two year post-study work visa for Indian nationals, to enable them to stay and look for work in France.
The number of Indian students traveling to the UK to study as international students has fallen by 50% over the last three years. Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, during his last visit to London, raised the issue of student visas to British Prime Minister David Cameron; reminding him that Indian students are among the best and the brightest in the world.
* Source: Financial Times
A version of this article was first published on Migreat London South Asian Community