The UK government is planning a range of new immigration options to attract and retain more talent in the UK. One of these proposed immigration routes will enable South African students who study in the UK to remain in the UK for an additional two years after their graduation. This will of course open up wonderful opportunities for South Africans who are fortunate enough to study in the UK.

To qualify, students must graduate from a so-called trusted UK university or higher education provider and have a satisfying track record at the UK Home Office. There will not be a limit on the number of students who will qualify under these new plans.

Furthermore, graduates in any subject will be allowed to remain in the UK for two years to find work. They will also be allowed to apply for jobs, regardless of their skills or the subjects that they studied. The UK government hopes that this two-year allowance will increase the students’ chances of finding long-term employment in the UK in their respective fields.

In these two years, graduates can then find employment that will adhere to the criteria for immigration routes that lead to permanent residence, and switch to these routes. It will of course also be possible for them to switch to other routes during this time that may lead to residence. After spending five years on an immigration route that leads to permanent residence, they will qualify to apply for UK citizenship.

However, prospective and current overseas students will have to wait for another year or two, as the new immigration plans are only expected to be introduced in 2020. Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants will inform readers as soon as more details are available.

Why is the UK a popular education destination for South African students?

A large number of South Africans students are studying at universities all over the UK. There are a number of reasons why South African students find the UK an attractive academic destination.

  • The UK is well known for its academic excellence. The UK is considered the home of no less than 29 of the top 200 universities in the world.
  • Language is not a barrier to South African students, as English is of course the language of instruction at UK universities.
  • South African students find it easy to adapt to the UK culture, as it is familiar in many ways.
  • There is a large number of South Africans in the UK, and even South African churches, shops and This makes it easier when homesickness hits or the weather gets too much.
  • If you are considering a post-graduate degree, your spouse or unmarried partner will be allowed to accompany you to the UK.
  • The UK applies no age limit to student visas. This means it is never too late to study in the UK. There are many mature student visa clients who fulfil their dreams of obtaining a post-graduate degree from one of the prestigious UK universities.


Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice; it is provided for general information purposes, without giving any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. For more information, please email or visit the Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants website at


This post is also available in: Afrikaans

Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants Limited
Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants Limited
BREYTENBACHS IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS LIMITED specialises in UK and SA Immigration. We pride ourselves on our reputation for excellence, fast results and friendly service. The consultants in the UK immigration department will be able to give you the best advice on the permit or visa that will enable you to live and work in the UK or South Africa.

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