London: Britain`s new Immigration
Minister Damian Green has indicated that students from India
and other non-European Union countries will have to furnish a
bond of a specified amount before coming here to study at
Green, who was the Conservative spokesman on
immigration issues, believes that the current points-based
student visa system is the `biggest single loophole` and has
promised to bring about major changes in the immigration
British authorities had suspended the issue of student
visas in north India, Nepal and Bangladesh earlier this year
after missions received an unusually large number of
applications from these regions.
"We want genuine students and want a fair system. We
will introduce the bond system for international students who
will be refunded the bond amount when they leave after
completing their studies," Green had told an audience at the
Guru Nanak Prakash Singh Sabha in Bristol recently.
International students are a source of major revenue
because they pay three times higher fees than students from
the UK and the European Union.
Among other new measures Green is likely to introduce
is an annual cap on the number of skilled professionals from
India and other countries outside the EU in order to
drastically reduce the annual number migrants coming to
As per the coalition agreement between the
Conservative and Liberal Democrats, it is the Conservative
policy that has been adopted by the new coalition government.
The coalition agreement says: "We have agreed that
there should be an annual limit on the number of non-EU
economic migrants admitted into the UK to live and work. We
will consider jointly the mechanism for implementing the
The overall goal of the Conservative party`s policy is
to reduce net immigration to the levels of the 1990s ? "tens
of thousands a year, instead of the hundreds of thousands
every year under the Labour government".
Green said: "There are benefits of immigration but not
of uncontrolled immigration. There is concern about
immigration within the migrant community that have integrated
well in British society over the years. We will ensure that
immigration returns to the level of 1980s and 1990s".
The proposed annual cap, however, is expected to be
opposed by campaign groups who believe that any such measure
will ultimately affect British trade and industry and the
Amit Kapadia, director of HSMP Forum, told PTI: "Any
such cap will affect Indian professionals because most
non-European Union migrants to the UK come from India. But we
will oppose and lobby against any illogical number or cap that
the government may seek to impose".
Kapadia said the Conservative party had not been able
to come up with any number as a cap for the annual number of
migrants into the UK.
Any knee-jerk attempt to impose a cap will hurt the
British economy and will be opposed by British business and
industry, he said.
The Conservative party`s policy on immigration states
that to promote integration into British society, it would
introduce an English language test for anyone coming here from
outside the EU to get married.
The policy says: "Britain can benefit from
immigration, but not uncontrolled immigration. Look at any
aspect of life today and you will see the contribution that
migrants have brought, and not just to the economy. We want to
continue to attract the brightest and the best people to the
UK, but with control on the overall numbers coming here".