03 August 2010

UK Student Visa policy to be reviewed

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The UK Immigration Minister has announced a “thorough evaluation” of the UK Student Visa system to try and minimise abuse.

Home Office figures show the level of non-EU students coming to Britain increased by more than a third, from 75,000 to just over 300,000 in the 12 months to March.

Earlier this year the previous Labour government introduced tougher UK Student Visa rules, following its own review.

Current Home Office statistics, some 313,011 non-EU students were granted visas in the 12 months up to March, bringing with them 31,385 dependants. The figure compares with 235,295 students and 24,780 dependants the previous year.

Mr Green said: "We are committed to attracting the brightest and the best to the UK, and welcome legitimate students coming here for study.

"However, in the past there has been significant abuse of the student route, and we need to ensure that every student who comes to the UK is genuine.

"I am undertaking a thorough evaluation of the student system over the coming weeks and months and I will introduce new measures to minimise abuse and tighten the system further," he said.

In February the former Labour Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced tougher rules, including an increase in English language ability, to crack down on bogus students who only wished to enter the country to work illegally.

However, last month a number of English language schools won a High Court battle over the language restrictions.

Following the High Court ruling the Coalition Government said it was reviewing English language requirements across the immigration system.

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