International students will be allowed to stay in the UK for two years after graduation to find a job, under new proposals announced by the Home Office.
The move reverses a decision made in 2012 by then-Home Secretary Theresa May that forced overseas students to leave four months after finishing a degree.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the change would see students “unlock their potential” and begin careers in the UK.
But campaign group Migration Watch called it a “retrograde” step.
The change will apply to students who start courses at undergraduate level or above from next year onwards.
They must be studying at an institution with a track record in upholding immigration checks.
The government’s announcement coincides with the launch of a £200m genetics project at the UK Biobank,