An independent immigration advisor of the government, the Migration Advisory Committee published the report on international student visitors in the UK. The study was commissioned by the Home Office in August 2017. According to the report, overseas students should not be removed from migration target. However, it was also advised not to introduce a cap on the numbers of the foreign students coming to the UK.
According to the statistics, there are 750,000 international students coming to the UK every year. This number includes all variety of students from undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, further education, language short courses and pupils from private schools.
Though the report did not suggest any significant changes to the Tier 4 category. It recommends that certain types of international students should have more time to stay in the UK for employment search and respectively after graduation, Home office should make a switch from Tier 4 visa to a work-related visas easier. Thus, the committee advised to introduce six months post-study “leave to remain” for Master’s students instead of current four months. Accordingly, students completing PhD should be automatically granted 12 months leave to remain to search for a job. At the moment, they have to apply for a visa in a separate category, which is associated with extra costs and efforts.