Major UK immigration reform for the student visa system

- Posted in United Kingdom by Visa Bureauon 08 December 2010

The Government has launched a public consultation on the reform of the UK Student Visa program.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: “I believe attracting talented students from abroad is vital to the UK but we must be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay.

“People imagine students to be those who come here for a few years to study at university and then go home - that is not always the case. Too many students coming to study at below degree level have been coming here to live and work, rather than studying. We need to stop this abuse.

“Today's proposals follow a major review of the system, and are aimed at a more selective system and, crucially, reducing the numbers to meet our target of reducing net migration to sustainable levels.”
The UK immigration consultation will run for eight weeks, seeking views proposals which include:

  • Reducing the number of people coming to the UK to study at below degree level;
  • Introducing a tougher English language requirement;
  • Ensuring students wishing to extend their studies show evidence of academic progression;
  • Limiting students' entitlements to work and their ability to bring in dependants; AND 
  • Improving the accreditation process for education providers, alongside more rigorous inspections.

Mr Green said the Government wants high calibre students with the genuine desire to study to come to our country to come for temporary periods, and then return home.

The new proposals could see Tier 4 visa holders  restricted to those studying largely degree level courses and to child students, unless the institution is a Highly Trusted Sponsor.

Students will also have to return overseas after their course finishes will mean students will have to leave the UK and apply for a new UK Visa to further their studies, and show evidence of progression to a higher course.

It will also see the closure of the post-study route under Tier 1. 

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