Post-Brexit, Indian students in Britain may once again get employment rights upon completion of their degree courses. High Commissioner to UK Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha said on Thursday that reinstating the two-year post-study work visa is “very much on the bi-lateral agenda and is being discussed.“
Indian students were allowed to work in Britain for up to two years with post-study work visas.However, that was discontinued in 2012. The envoy told reporters in London, “There is an expectation in the post-Brexit era priority to sign a bilateral trade deal with the UK that this issue will come up for discussion and it will need to be resolved satisfactorily.“
Sinha acknowledged the “exponential“ decline in the number of Indian students in the UK in the past five-to-six years.“Some of that is down due to fake colleges, but far fewer are applying,“ he said, adding that compared to 40,000 in 2010, the number was just 16,000 in 2015. In contrast, in Australia, the number of Indian students has risen from 19,000 in 2010 to 40,000 in 2016, whilst the US has seen a spike from 104,000 to 166,000. “Ninety per cent of those applying (for jobs) are given places. The reasons for lower applications are many , but if I was an employer, I would think twice about employing someone who only has the right to work in the UK for four months,“ Sinha said.
On Brexit's impact on India-UK trade relations, he said, “No formal negotiation can start on any FTA until the UK leaves the EU. But there is a joint working group on trade and services set up as the EU and UK negotiate and we get clarity on what will happen post29 March, 2019.“