The United Kingdom Government has announced that international students in England can apply for work permit after successful completion of their academic at bachelor’s degree level or above.

The British government disclosed that graduates are free to search for work after studying for a maximum period of two years and three years for PhD students.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday, titled, ‘New UK post-study graduate route to open to Nigerian students this summer,’ signed by the second Secretary Political/Head of Communications, British High Commission, Dean Hurlock.

“Today, the UK government has confirmed the new Graduate route will open for applications on 1 July 2021, to international students who successfully complete a degree at undergraduate level or above in the UK.

“International students on the Graduate route will be able to work or look for work after their studies for a maximum period of two years (three years for PhD students). This will allow the UK to retain the brightest and the best students to continue to contribute to the UK post-study,’’ it stated.

Available statistics indicated that over 13,000 Nigerian students were granted a UK study visa in 2020, an increase of 56 per cent on the year before.

According to a statement by the British High Commission, the recent development would allow the UK to retain the brightest and the best students to continue to contribute to its post-study.

It added that applications for the graduate route will open on July 1, 2021, ensuring Nigerian students would continue to choose the UK as the destination to study and build their careers.

The high commission also disclosed that the coronavirus concessions for students unable to travel to the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic have also been extended, recognising the continuing disruption many face in international travel.

It said applicants who began their studies in autumn 2020 will have to have been in the UK by June 21 (updated from 6 April 2021) to be eligible to apply to the Graduate route, adding that students who began their studies in January or February 2021 would need to be in the UK by September 27.

“The Graduate route will be unsponsored, meaning applicants will not need a job offer to apply for the route. There will be no minimum salary requirements nor caps on numbers – Graduates on the route will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required.

“To be eligible, international students must have completed a UK degree at bachelor’s degree-level or above, or an eligible professional qualification at a higher education provider, with a track record of compliance with the UK Government’s immigration requirements,” the statement noted.