International students will remain eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route if they continue their education via distance learning, or begin their studies through distance learning in the 2020/21 academic year.
This news comes from a recent report from the UK Home Office released on 16th June, which also stipulates that students must transition to face-to-face learning when circumstances change.
Students are still eligible to access the Graduate Immigration Route as long as they are in the UK by April 6 2021 and complete the final semester of their studies in the UK.
Usually, distance-learning would not allow these benefits, but with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affecting higher education, this policy has temporarily changed.
The UK has always accepted students from India and the rest of the world and this latest change is a signal that they are still welcome.
The Graduation Immigration route was announced on 11th September 2019 which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have graduated.
It was aimed to launch in the summer of 2021, and will continue to do so, despite these exceptional circumstances.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said, "the new Graduate Route will mean talented international students, whether in science and maths or technology and engineering, can study in the UK and then gain valuable work experience as they go on to build successful careers. It demonstrates our global outlook and will ensure that we continue to attract the best and brightest."
The launch of the route demonstrates the government's support for the education sector and commitment to the International Education Strategy. It will set out the government's ambition to increase education exports to £35 billion and the number of international higher education students to 600,000 by 2030.