02 March 2009

UK to restrict number of Filipino student visas

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The UK government has decided to restrict the number of National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) student applications because of the overwhelming number lodged for processing over the past few years.

According to The Global Nation, 47,000 UK student visa applications were lodged in Manila for Filipino nurses looking to study in the UK, which is a 22 per cent increase on the year before.

A common pathway for nurses in the Philippines is to take a health-care course in the UK and then apply for NVQ visas to get a UK work permit

"In accordance with this decision, instructions have been given to our commercial partner, VFS, who operate the Manila Visa Application Center, to put these restrictions into immediate effect," a spokesperson from the British Embassy said.

"Our reason for doing so is the overwhelming increase in the number of applications that we have received over the past year."

Together with the implementation of the tougher system for immigration to the UK, Filipino nurses are now going to find it harder to obtain visas to work in the UK.  The new system requires applicants to earn points against an assessment, much like the points-based system that has been running in Australian immigration for many years.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

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