Strict new measures for student visas.


Genuine students are of considerable benefit to Britain but those who are bogus or who overstay illegally can impose significant costs. The numbers are hard to quantify but according to Migration Watch UK ½ million students arriving every year, with no interviews before a visa is issued and no checks on departure, the analysis of Home Office research points to about 32,000 a year.

Students who were refused or would have been rejected under the old regime are being waved through even though border control staff are convinced they are not genuine.

Pratik Gupta, an international student entered Britain on a student visa. Gupta claims his only aim was to work here.

Pratik Gupta

‘Flawed’ System

Under the new system, universities and colleges must be approved by the Home Office to act as sponsors to bring in foreign students and it is they who are then responsible for assessing whether someone is eligible to enter.

Unless an entry clearance officer can show or prove documents are false they cannot refuse entry – and such verification is largely impossible given the number of documents and the students are generally accepted at face value.

According to an overseas education consultant Atif Khan, the obvious flaw lies in the new system.

UK Visa Bureau, an independent research and consulting organization states that around 2,000 institutions were refused sponsorship powers. Some 3,840 international students were enrolled at these establishments, and a further 280 students were at colleges that have had their license revoked or suspended since March 2009.

New ‘changes’

Recent changes announced by the government in the visa system are strict, however the new changes are unfriendly to the genuine students who want to come to britain to study.

The new changes include closure of the Post Study Work route which was awarded earlier on completion of a graduate degree. It would now also not be possible to bring dependants to Uk while studying.

Higher education institutions are worth £59 billion to the UK economy annually and are a major export earner. Through their international activities they are one of the UK’s fastest growing sources of export earnings, According to UK Higher Education International Unit, international students bought in £5.3b in 2009.

But the government officials are concerned over net migration that the students are causing. All these new measures are targeted at reducing the migration ratio over the next 10 years. According to the Chief Executive of the UKCISA Dominic Scott the new changes are a part of the wider policy by the government.

Dominic Scot Chairman of UKCISA

While the impact of these changes on illegal immigration remains to be seen.. the need of a more effective and transparent visa system has increased. A system that would allow only the most able and deserving people to come to Britain.

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