New UK Visa Rule Will Affect Indian Students: S Jaishankar

Opting for Education in the UK continues to be a favoured choice among Indian students aspiring to pursue studies abroad. For individuals currently enrolled in courses at UK universities or those considering UK for their studies, noteworthy alterations in governmental regulations have been introduced. Primarily, international students will no more retain the option to transition from the student pathway to employment avenues, including skilled worker visas and other sponsored work permits, prior to their academic programs’ completion. Furthermore, international students will be restricted from bringing their dependents along unless they are enrolled in postgraduate programs specifically classified as research-oriented endeavors.

As per the UK Government’s new visa rules announced on July 17, 2023, international students will not be able to switch out of the student route into work routes before their studies have been completed.

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the Minister of External Affairs addressed the Lok Sabha and stated in response to a query that the count of Indian students, excluding their dependents, who pursued studies in the UK, amounted to 139,539 in the year 2022.

As per the new rules, from January 1, 2024, international students will not be able to bring dependents unless they are on postgraduate courses currently designated as research programmes, the minister said.

 “The Government of India remains closely engaged with British authorities on all issues relating to further strengthening of people to people ties and the movement of young Indian students and professionals,” the minister further added.

According to the new rules proposed by the UK Government-led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, there is a substantial increase expected in the fees and health surcharge for visa applicants directed towards the UK’s publicly funded National Health Service (NHS), as reported by PTI.

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Likewise, reports indicate a projected surge of 15% in visa fees. On July 27, the British government concluded its second round of applications for the UK-India Young Professional Scheme, catering to individuals between 18 and 30 years of age possessing graduate-level qualifications. This scheme offers visas to the UK and has a total allocation of 3,000 slots for the year 2023.

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