13 February 2012

New UK visa rules for students announced by Home Office

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After UK Immigration Minister Damian Green promised to overhaul the country's immigration system, a Home Office press release today outlined the changes in the UK visa process for international students.

UK visa

UK Immigration Minister Damian Green has promised to tackle abuse of the immigration system.

International students are allowed to live and work in the UK for two years after finishing their studies under current UK visa conditions but from 6, April, a more stringent system will come into effect which will limit UK visas to only the most talented and innovative international students.

Under the new system, only international students graduating from a university with a job offer from a 'reputable' company accredited by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) will be allowed to remain in the country.

Mr Green said "It is vital that we continue to attract the brightest and the best international students but we have to be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay.

"In the past, too many students have come to the UK to work rather than study and this abuse must end. With the introduction of the Graduate Entrepreneur route and the restrictions on student work we are reforming the system to deliver immigration to benefit Britain."

'Benefit Britain' was Mr Green's constant refrain as he criticised the previous Labour government's UK immigration policies which, according to Mr Green, left the system open to abuse and exploitation; Mr Green is determined to implement a new system which will restrict migrants to only those who 'benefit Britain'.

In order to tackle this abuse, the new system will include a rule which restricts work placements to one third of the course for international students below degree level. It is hoped this will ensure that foreign nationals entering the country are doing so to study and not to work.

Further rules under the system include the Graduate Entrepreneur route which will allow 1,000 students who are working on 'world-class innovative ideas' to stay to continue developing their ideas.

Any young entrepreneur with at least £50,000 to invest in their business will be allow to stay while the amount of money that students and working migrants need to have to prove they can support themselves and any dependents will rise for the first time in four years.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent UK immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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