ArticleHome Secretary initiates review of Graduate Visa route

The Home Secretary has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to undertake a comprehensive review of the Graduate visa route. This review, officially requested three months after its initial announcement, is set to encompass a broad spectrum of critical areas, including potential abuse of the route, user demographics, and the route’s effectiveness in contributing to the UK’s economy and higher education system.

The scope of the review is extensive and detailed. It aims to assess the Graduate visa route’s alignment with its intended purpose. A key focus will be on the background of the users of this route, particularly examining their originating universities. Additionally, the review seeks to understand the activities and career trajectories of individuals who transition from study visas to the UK labour market via the Graduate route.

Crucially, the review is tasked with analysing the impact of the Graduate route on the integrity and quality of the UK higher education system. It will explore whether the route is successful in attracting high-quality international students, thereby contributing to economic growth, enhancing British education, and bolstering the UK’s soft power.

To aid in this substantial review, the MAC has been instructed to collaborate with Sir Steve Smith, the Government’s International Education Champion. The committee is expected to complete this review by 14 May 2024. However, due to the tight deadline and the delayed commissioning by the government, the MAC Chair indicated the inability to conduct a call for evidence.

The MAC Chair requested specific data from the Home Secretary to facilitate this review. This includes comprehensive data on individuals on the Graduate Route since its inception, linked to their study records and subsequent visa transitions. The Chair also sought the Home Office visa data linked to HM Revenue and Customs records for an independent and comprehensive analysis of the economic impacts of the route. Timely provision of these data is crucial, as any delays could postpone the report’s publication.

This review represents a significant undertaking by the MAC and is crucial in shaping the future trajectory of the Graduate visa route, a pivotal aspect of the UK’s immigration and education policies.

Get in touch:  For a comprehensive understanding of your options or queries on UK immigration matters, contact GigaLegal Solicitors at 02074067654 or click here to book a no-obligation consultation with an immigration expert.