As India and the United Kingdom negotiate their Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the Home Secretary of the UK Suella Braverman is mulling over the idea to cut the period of stay allowed for an overseas student under a post-study visa route. Braverman is planning to reform the Graduate Visa route which will require overseas students to obtain a work visa after getting a skilled job or leave the UK in 6 months.

The new Graduate Visa route allowed overseas students to stay in the UK and look for jobs and gain experience even without the requirement of a specific job offer. According to reports from UK media, the Department of Education of the UK is trying to block such changes as they feel the move might reduce the attractiveness of the country as a study destination.

The supporters of Braverman's plan argue that the Graduate Visa route was misused by students who take admissions in short courses at "less respectable universities". According to local media, government sources said that it was used as a backdoor immigration route.

According to the Department of Education, the UK's two-year post-study offer is comparable to that of most of the UK's rivals, and the duration is shorter only in the United States, where a one-year post-study visa is available.

The development occurred at the conclusion of six rounds of negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and India. The British trade minister in charge of negotiations confirmed that Indians will not receive more free movement visas as a result of the FTA.

Indians will not receive the same deal in the FTA as Australians, according to Kemi Badenoch, who also went to India in December for the sixth round of FTA talks. Under the terms of the UK-Australia FTA, Australians under 35 can live and work in the UK for three years.

In its most recent release, the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) stated that India would surpass China as the largest cohort of foreign students in 2022. Indians received 41% of all Graduate Visas, making them the most common applicant group.

A government spokesperson stated, "Our points-based system is designed to be flexible according to the needs of the UK, including attracting top-notch talent from around the world to contribute to the excellent academic reputation of the UK and to help keep our universities competitive on the global stage."

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