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New after study work opportunities for international PhD graduates

In December 2012, the Home Secretary, Teresa May, spoke about changes to the Immigration Rules which would allow PhD graduates to apply for a further 12 months' leave to remain in the UK with permission to work. She also said that 1,000 additional places would be created for MBA graduates to remain in the UK for 12-24 months under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme.

Further details about these changes were announced in a UKBA briefing to sector representatives at Universities UK in London recently. The changes will come into effect in April 2013, and details of how the new schemes will work in practice will be released sometime in March. Visit the International Office website to find out more.

PHD Extension Scheme

Summary information - subject to change

From April 2013, the UK Government will enable students completing a PhD (or other doctoral programme) at a UK HEI to stay in the UK on a Tier 4 visa until 12 months after their expected course completion date. This is intended to provide students gaining a doctorate a longer period to find work with a Tier 2 employer, set up as an entrepreneur, or to gain practical work experience in their field.

This will apply to T4 PhD students who start after April 2013 and to those already in the route but who have not completed their studies by April. Those who have already completed their course on the given date in April but whose leave has not yet expired will not be eligible to apply for this new type of extension.

Changes to Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme

Summary information - subject to change

The current Graduate Entrepreneur scheme allows 1,000 international HEI graduates a year to apply in the UK to stay on after their studies to pursue a business idea without having to switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route. HEIs that have registered to participate are allocated a number of places and they sponsor the migrant during their time in the route.

The UKBA shall expand this route (a) to make additional provision for 1,000 international MBA graduates and (b) to accommodate migrants recruited by UKTI into their Elite Global Entrepreneur scheme.

Find out more

You can find the full news article and further information on the International Office website.