With the news on UK work visa extending up to 2 years from 2021, the students are looking forward to studying in UK for their bachelor’s and Master’s in UK once again as anticipated. The extension in Post Study Work Visa in UK was welcomed by both the universities in UK and students alike. Also, the cap on the number of Work Visas was removed, meaning a large number of applicants can be granted a work Visa for UK. Here is all you need to know:

How UK Work Visa Rules & 2 Year Stay Back will Change Study Abroad

Stay Back Extended in UK:

From 2021, International students graduating from UK universities would be able to stay back in UK for 2 years after they have graduated. This change is welcomed by the students and academics alike as many thought that the six months of stay back (earlier four months) was not enough for a candidate to find a permanent job and stay back in UK after graduation. Now, things are about to change. How does it change the whole aspect of Studying Abroad? Here is what can be anticipated as more and more students will be looking forward to the UK, and what these rules will bring:

How to Plan for Study Abroad? - Step by Step Guide

Effects of UK work Visa Rules on Top European Countries:


One of the top destinations to study abroad, France currently holds the 4th place for hosting international students in the world despite being a non English speaking country. In the year 2017-18, there were 343,000 international students in France. This was a significant and steady increase from 2012, when UK work visa restrictions were implemented. In 2012, there were 287,692 international students in France. Number of International Students over the Years: 

As it can be seen, there has been a sharp growth in International students since 2012. Just as the UK, France proves to be the doorstep to Europe, and has better post study options compared to the UK. Now, with the rule change in UK work Visa and extended stay back in UK, this neighbouring country will face a direct competition.


For the students who are seeking the affordability factor, Germany still remains the popular choice. The graph below shows increment over the years in the number of international students in Germany.

Germany also felt the same boom as it offered English taught courses and stay back options. The most important factor with Germany is however its tuition free public universities. Yes, students can study in Germany for free barring one or two public universities. That is not going to change soon and therefore, for the students who are looking to study abroad with affordability, Germany is still the most preferable option.


From the graph below, it is apparent that the Netherlands has seen the same growth in the number of international students since 2012.

However, with UK extending the stay back period, the Netherlands will also face the same issue. Netherlands also has a stay back period of one year, which was a lucrative option before when a four months of the stay back in UK was offered. Now that the UK is offering 2 years of Work visa extension, more and more students will be choosing the UK over Netherlands.

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Effects of UK Work Visa Extension on English Speaking Countries:

For countries like USA, Canada and Australia, the competition has risen. Before 2012, when it used to be 2 years for stay back in UK, the country was right after the USA in terms of hosting international students. Over the years, Canada’s liberal immigration rules and Australia’s quality education has proven too tough to beat for the UK.

Here is the effects of how the UK has seen the decline after 2012, when the UK stay back was reduced to 4 months from 2 years.

As you can see, the increase since 2011 in the number of international students has been the lowest despite being the second largest host country for international students. This trend clearly shows that the students are exploring other options like Canada, Germany and the USA, which provide better stay back options.

With Post Study Work Visa in UK to be Extended up to 2 Years, the scenarios are about to change. As we mentioned, the decision to extend the stay back permit clearly raises the competition to other countries who offer similar stay back options. Especially the USA, where two year options are very conditional and they are only available to STEM students. Not to mention, of all the countries mentioned, UK and USA are homes to the most ranked universities in the world. To name a few:

1.    University of Oxford
2.    University of Cambridge
3.    UCL
4.    Imperial College London
5.    University of Edinburgh

UK work Visa for Indian Students:

For Indian students, the UK has long been one of the most preferred international destinations to Study. With 16550 students in 2017, the United Kingdom stands on number 9 currently, behind the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. However, the UK aims to have 600,000 international students by 2030, and this move will surely help that goal. For years, the UK was the second best option for Indian Students after the USA.

Indian Students are the second largest demographic of international students in the UK, and also a large number of applicants from India apply for a work visa in the UK every year. Earlier, there was a limited number of work visas available for the internationals. Now with that cap removed, students as well as skilled workers can apply and an unlimited number of visas can be granted to eligible candidates. Students are also not mandatorily required to find a job in their field only.

Here is some essential information on UK work visa:

Complete Guide to Study in UK for International students

How to Get UK Work Visa after Studying in UK?

From 2021, UK will implement the two year stay back for both bachelor’s and master’s students who complete their study in the UK. The graduates mostly apply for the Tier 2 General visa in the UK, once they have found a job opportunity in the UK. As of now, that job must be paying the candidate £20,800 a year to be eligible. For now, students should find a job in the UK within the allowed time of stay back of six months. From 2021, students will have a 2 year stay back period. Read more on that here: Stay Back and Work Permit after Study in UK

UK Work Visa fees:

Depending on the type of work Visa you are applying for, Tier 2 visa has an application fee anywhere between £900 to £960.

UK Work Visa Processing Time

UK work Visa processing time is 3 weeks on an average.

UK Work Visa Requirements

As we have mentioned before, the requirements to a UK work Visa is to have a job that pays you at least £20,800 annually. The organisation that has hired you sponsors your Tier 2 UK work Visa. Also, as of now, one must secure a job in a related field from which they have graduated from. This however will change from 2021, as there will not be any requirement to work particularly in the field a student has studied in.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

About the Author:

Dhruv is Content Creator at He is fond of words and everything related to them. Writing about different things from around the world gives him immense pleasure, and a very healthy by-product is sharing the information and helping others in the process.

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