The Boris Johnson government on Wednesday announced the return of the two-year post-study work visa that was popular with self-financing Indian students, reversing a 2012 decision that led to a major drop of Indian students coming to the UK.

The announcement means that Indian and other international students who join a UK educational institution from the 2020-21 academic year and complete an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any subject will be able to stay for two years and take up any job.

The visa route was scrapped by Theresa May when she was home secretary in April 2012 on the ground that it was too generous, along with other measures such as closing bogus colleges that were admitting international ‘students’.

Before its closure, Indian students with loans used the two-year period to find work and recover some of the expenses of studying in the UK. However, there were also claims that it was abused by Indian ‘students’ in the bogus colleges, which have since been closed.

Johnson announced the new visa route while launching a whole genome sequencing project, which he held up as an example of the UK’s pioneering research and international collaboration: “Breakthroughs of this kind wouldn’t be possible without being open to the brightest and the best from across the globe to study and work in the UK”.

“That’s why we’re unveiling a new route for international students to unlock their potential and start their careers in the UK”, he said. –HINDUSTAN TIMES