Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, wants to introduce an innovative work visa for Indian students. This new permit will allow them to work in the UK for two years after completing their studies at a British university.
Johnson has proposed a trial of the visa with Indian citizens. If this is successful it could be extended to other Commonwealth students. A similar two-year work programme will also be rolled out for overseas graduates with qualifications in science, engineering and technology.
London welcomes more than 100,000 international students each year. Over the next five years this is expected to increase by 55,000, which will bring an extra £1 billion to the capital’s economy.
India supplies the third largest proportion of international students in the city, after China and the United States. In 2014, Indian students generated £130 million in revenue, equating to the creation and sustainment of 1,643 jobs.
After the Post Study Work visa was discontinued in 2012, the number of Indian students at British universities dropped dramatically. By 2014, only 4% of all international students were from India, down from 10% in 2010.
The new visa forms part of the government’s effort to boost the number of Indian students studying in British universities. The UK has recently announced that 300 scholarships, with a projected value of £1.5 million, will be made available to these students in 2016 – 2017.