Students who want to study in the UK will need to apply for visas under the new immigration system sooner than initially expected

The UK government has announced that new routes for international students to apply for visas are to open in October, including a points-based immigration system which it claims will “open up the UK to the brightest and the best from around the world”.

Initially expected to come into effect from January 2021, the student route and child student route will now both open on 5 October, meaning students who are planning to study in the UK from January may need to apply through the new points-based immigration system.

The UK government said the routes “treat all students equally”, with international students – including those from Europe coming to study after the Brexit transition period ends – using the same route when it opens for applications.

Under the new rules, students seeking to study in the UK will need to demonstrate that they have an offer from an approved educational institution, that they can support themselves financially during their studies, and that they speak English. This additional new route will allow those who have completed a degree at an accredited UK higher education provider to stay in the UK for two years (three years for PhD graduates) and work at any skill level, and to switch into work routes if they find a suitable job.

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