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Indian Students' Body In UK Urges PM Rishi Sunak To Protect Graduate Route Visa Policy

Study In UK: The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has also suggested a "mandatory registration system" for international recruitment agents and subagents, known in India as overseas education consultants.

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Indian Students' Body In UK Urges PM Rishi Sunak To Protect Graduate Route Visa Policy
Study In UK: The Migration Advisory Committee submitted its report on May 14.

The National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK (NISAU UK), representing Indian students and alumni in the UK, has urged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to protect the "Graduate Route" visa policy. This request follows the Migration Advisory Committee's (MAC) recent findings, which revealed no misuse of the "Graduate Route" and recommended its retention in its current form.

The Graduate Route permits international graduates to remain in the UK for two years after completing their degrees (three years for PhD graduates) to gain work experience.

In a letter to Prime Minister Sunak, NISAU UK Chair Sanam Arora appealed for the Graduate Route to remain unchanged without any modifications that might make the UK less welcoming or attractive to international students.

The letter highlights the economic benefits of international students, widespread public support for the Graduate Route, the role of international graduates in addressing skill shortages, the enhancement of educational experiences for domestic students, the strengthening of Britain's global influence and soft power, the promotion of research and innovation, and the strategic importance of universities to the UK.

She also addresses the misconception of reducing international graduates to 'Deliveroo visas,' highlighting that these students are highly invested in their UK education and are net positive contributors to the UK.

The United Kingdom's Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended keeping the "Graduate Route" visa policy, noting there is no evidence of "abuse" of the policy. This route allows international students to remain and work in the UK after finishing their studies. In 2023, it provided over 50,000 Indian students with post-study work opportunities, accounting for 44% of all student visa extensions and the highest number among all nationalities.

In March, Home Secretary James Cleverly requested a swift review of the "Graduate Route" visa policy. The MAC submitted its report on May 14.

Brian Bell, MAC chair, stated, "We have not found evidence of widespread abuse on the Graduate Route, where we define abuse as deliberate non-compliance with immigration rules, and we conclude that the route is not undermining the integrity and quality of the UK higher education system."

Additionally, the MAC has advised the UK government to require universities to confirm the course outcome, such as the degree classification, alongside the existing requirement to confirm course completion.

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