More curbs on UK student visas come into effect

Last Updated: Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 21:03

London: As part efforts to curb abuse of
student visas, new restrictions announced by the David Cameron
government on working while studying and bringing students`
dependent to the UK have come into effect.

Home Office research shows that the student visa route
is often abused by people from India and other countries from
outside the European Union for entry into the country for work
rather than studies.

The new restrictions came into effect on July 4.

More restrictions are scheduled to come into effect
from April 2012, including the closure of the post-study work
visa, which currently enables non-EU students to take up work
for two years after completing studies in a UK university.

The new rules include restrictions on work
entitlements to migrants studying at higher educational
institutions and publicly funded further education colleges
only.

So far, even those studying at private intuitions were
entitled to work.

Immigration minister Damian Green said, "(The) student
visa system isn`t up to scratch - it has failed to control
immigration, failed to select the brightest and best and
failed to protect legitimate students. The primary motivation
of too many users of the student immigration system is not to
receive a high-quality education but to live and work here
instead".

"And too many of the institutions that have managed to
obtain a sponsor license under Tier 4 are essentially
providing an immigration service, not an educational one. We
have endless examples of institutions and so-called students
working the system to get around changes made to try and
reduce the levels of abuse," Green said.

The Home Office, he said, had encountered students
barely able to hold a conversation in English turning up to
`study` degree-level courses.

The new rules also restrict the sponsorship of
dependants to those studying at postgraduate level at higher
education institutions on courses lasting at least 12 months,
and government-sponsored students on courses lasting at least
6 months; Henceforth, student applicants will have to ensure
that maintenance funds are genuinely available to the
applicant, by introducing a declaration on the visa
application form.

A Home Office spokesperson said that the changes were
aimed at delivering a strong migration system which tackled
immigration abuse while allowing genuine students to study at
genuine colleges.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 21:03

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