The current 'Graduate Visa route' permits Indian and other foreign students to stay in the country to find a job and gain work experience for a period of two years without the requirement of any specific job.
Braverman has reportedly drawn up a plan to "reform" the Graduate Visa route by asking students to obtain a work visa by getting a skilled job. If they are unable to do so, they will have to leave the country after six months, The Times reported.
A government official who backs Braverman said that the Graduate Visa was being used by students on short courses at "less respectable universities."
"It's being used as a backdoor immigration route," the official told The Times.
UK Education Dept Against Move
Meanwhile, the UK's Department of Education (DfE) is reportedly attempting to deter the changes, as they fear that it would reduce the UK's attractiveness to foreign students.
The DfE argues that the two-year Graduate Visa was in line with most of the UK's main competitors apart from the United States, which offers a one-year visa.
As per the latest report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Indians overtook Chinese as the largest group of international students in the UK in 2022. Moreover, the new Graduate Visa route – which was launched in July 2021 – was dominated by Indians, as they accounted for over 40 percent of the visas issued.
Braverman's proposal is said to be among several such plans being prepared after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak asked the DfE and the Home Office to submit plans to reduce the intake of international students to the country.
As per figures published earlier this month, there were 680,000 international students in Britain.
Another plan which is being prepared would reportedly permit international students to being dependent family members along with them to the UK only if they were engaged in postgraduate research-based courses, like PhDs, or other postgraduate courses which were at least two years long.
(With inputs from The Times and PTI.)