20 April 2010

New UK visa rules prove frustrating for overseas students

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New UK student visa regulations are frustrating overseas students and damaging the country’s education reputation, a study by the UK Council for International Student Affairs has said.

UK student visa

The UK may lose valuable overseas student due to the UK student visa process, a study has found.

The study found almost six out of ten (58.6 per cent) international students applying for an extension to their UK visa did not think the application process was quick and efficient, and more than eight out of ten (83.4 per cent) think the cost of a UK student visa is unreasonable.

Since October last year, all international students from outside the European Union have to apply for a new UK student visa if they wish to change the college or university were they are studying.

Under the new system many students face delays to their applications and the return of their identification documents, and almost half those applying for a UK visa extension (48.6 per cent) did not find the application form easy to complete.

UK Council for International Student Affairs chief executive Dominic Scott estimated more than 40,000 students would apply to change their institution of study this summer.

The UK risks missing out on international students – and the income they bring – if the UK immigration system takes too long, Mr Scott said.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in  helping people lodging their applications for a UK visa with the British Embassy.

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