By DattatrayaKadikar, Director, HSMP Services Ltd
New Delhi, [India]: As professional immigration advisors for the UK, queries are being raised to us if an international student can settle in the UK after completing education?
The answer is yes, an international student can settle permanently and become a British Citizen after completing the education in the UK. While this is possible, it is a long process and can be a little stressful at times, but with a little bit of planning, it is achievable.
With the introduction of Graduate Route from 1st July 2021, which allows applying for a two-years unsponsored visa for Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree and three years for completion of Ph.D. in the UK. Here is the description of the entire process as a step-by-step guide, beginning with why opt the UK for higher education?
As per July 2020 rankings, UK has 8 universities included in the top 100 rankings, 18 universities in the top 200 rankings, and 81 universities included in the top 1000 universities globally, which makes the UK one of the most popular destinations for international students including India.
Shorter course length of 3 years as compared to 4 years in most countries for an undergraduate degree and 1 year for Master’s degree as compared to 2 years in most countries.
UK Degrees are respected and accepted in most countries internationally.
Popular Destination for International students because it is a multi-cultural country.
Size of UK Economy and strength of Services sector including International Finance.
If one wants to settle in the UK, the first step should be to find a course leading to a qualification which is in high demand in the UK.
The second step will be to keep full focus on studies and complete it with the best possible grades. It is also important to gain some work experience during mid-term and end-of-term holidays in the field where one wants to find a job in the UK on completion of studies.
The third step will be to find a job during a Graduate Route visa from which one can switch into a sponsored route of a Skilled Worker visa.
Most importantly, the time spent in the UK under Student Route and Graduate Route are not counted in qualifying stay of five years and is required to qualify for permanent residence in the UK. Essentially, sooner is better when it comes to switching to a Skilled Worker visa.
To be more specific, if one completes a Master’s degree in one year and switches to a Skilled Worker visa, the qualifying five years period starts immediately, but if someone waits to complete 2 years under Graduate Route and then switches to the Skilled Worker route the qualifying period starts two years late.
At the end of the qualifying period of 5 years, one can apply for indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence in the UK and if the application is successful, one achieves settled status which implies no time limit or immigration restriction!
One year after getting the ILR or indefinite leave to remain in the UK, one can apply for British Citizenship.
About HSMP Services Ltd. are OISC approved immigration advisors having more than 16 years of experience in UK immigration services for highly skilled individuals and skilled migrants providing end-to-end services in all UK immigration matters.