12 July 2010

UK Visa rule changes for English students quashed in High Court

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A High Court battle by language schools could see the UK Visa rule changes recently introduced by the Home Office scrapped.

UK Student Visa

UK Visa rule changes for students have been referred back to parliment by the High Court.

The new UK Visa regulations - introduced by Labour's last Home Secretary, Alan Johnson in March- prevented students with only beginner's English from obtaining a visa to study English language courses for longer than six months.  The UK immigration changes raised the level of English needed from elementary to intermediate for longer courses, although less advanced students could still study courses lasting up to six months.

The High Court recently ruled that these changes were not implemented correctly.

Justice Foskett ruled that the changes were implemented by altering guideless rather than making formal changes through parliament, and he referred the matter back to parliament.

The legal challenge was brought by English UK, representative of 440 schools and colleges.  

Tony Milns, chief executive of English UK, said the ruling had saved jobs and millions of pounds a year in foreign earnings.

"This judgment upholds our basic case that the Home Secretary was wrong to introduce a substantive change... without laying that change before Parliament.

"We are pleased that Mr Justice Foskett saw the merits of our case and we believe that his decision is good for the UK economy, to which the English language sector contributes about £1.5 billion in foreign earnings each year."

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their  UK Visa applications to the UK Embassy


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