The post study work visa WILL be abolished, but it's not the end of the world

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Contrary to a report in yesterday's Financial Times, the worst will happen: the UK government will be abolishing the post study work visa, but not until April 2012.

The announcement was buried in a media alert yesterday, which stated simply that:

The 'post study work route', which allowed students two years to seek employment after their course ended has been closed.

This isn't ideal. Until April 2012, a Chinese MSc at the LSE who wants to work in London post-graduation will automatically be entitled to remain in the UK for two years on a post study work visa. From then, he/she won't be able to.

However, it's not disastrous.

Matthew Davies, an immigration partner at law firm Fox Williams, says students seeking a Tier 2 visa will need a graduate job offer from a licensed sponsor employer.

They will also need to achieve a certain number of 'points,' which Davies warns could not be a trivial issue for students straight out of university.

And yet... the UK government's immigration website suggests anyone going into banking should find it relatively easy to meet the points criteria.

In total, candidates seeking a Tier 2 Visa need to achieve 50 points. 30 points are awarded for jobs where it's impossible to find a resident EU candidate (Eg. a salesperson with Mandarin skills). 10 points are awarded for a Bachelors degree. And 25 points are awarded for jobs paying 35k or more. Desirable graduates should be able achieve 65 points without too much hassle.

The other good news is that because students applying for a Tier 2 visa are already in the UK, any visas they're allocated won't come out of the UK's immigration quota system. Banks may therefore be comparatively willing to hand them out.