TNT readers have been increasingly concerned about recent changes to immigration policy in the UK, particularly the move to close the Post Study Work route, which previously allowed international students to remain here for two years after graduation.

The changes have made it more difficult for many Kiwis and Australians to obtain the right to live in the UK.

However, Mr Hague, speaking on his current tour of New Zealand and Australia on Thursday, defended the current visa options and said there were still numerous routes open to globetrotting Antipodeans, but admitted that the UK needs to do more to advertise other routes of securing a visa.

“We have, for example, the Youth Mobility Scheme, which is undersubscribed for Australians,” Mr Hague said, after delivering the Menzies Research Centre John Howard Lecture in Sydney.

“We also now have for people on student visas the ability to move to a working visa without the need to go out of the country in order to change that arrangement.”

Fortunately, it is still possible to utilise the Ancestry Visa, which allows foreign citizens who have or had at least one British grandparent to live and work in the UK for five years.

The skilled worker category is also available but, according to the foreign secretary, is currently undersubscribed, although he pointed out that this required employer sponsorship.

“It may be we need improved awareness of all those routes,” Mr Hague said.

“But there is scope under all of those routes for more Australians to spend time in the UK.”

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