New curbs on UK immigration

The curbs seek to ensure that visas are issued to only those wanting to study for a degree and eliminating bogus students.

London: New curbs on immigration to the UK
will come into force from Tuesday under which the government
plans to reduce the inflow by 100,000, a move likely to
adversely impact Indians seeking to migrate to Britain.

Under the new regime, the Labour-Liberal Democrat
coalition has introduced an annual limit of 21,700 for those
coming into the UK under the skilled and highly skilled routes
- 20,700 under the skilled route and 1,000 under the new
`exceptional talent` route.

The curbs, which is set to come into force tomorrow,
seeks to ensure that visas are issued to only those wanting to
study for a degree and eliminating bogus students.

Those allowed in will also have to demonstrate a
better command of English than is required at present and will
face tighter rules on working or bringing in family members,
according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.

The proposals are contained in a review of the student
visa regime as part of the government`s drive to stop abuse of
the system and to help meet its wider pledge of bringing net
migration down to the "tens of thousands".

Government has raised the minimum salary for those
coming through the intra-company transfer route to 40,000
pounds for more than 12 months.

Figures published last month showed that one in five
foreigners who came to study in 2004, was still in Britain five
years later.

The review will focus on the tens of thousands of
students who come to Britain each year to follow courses below
degree level, such as A-levels, vocational courses and even
GCSEs.

Some 130,000 such students arrived from outside the
European Union last year, almost half the near 280,000 total
given student visas.

Of those, more than 90,000 attended private colleges.

Thousands more attended language schools. The new proposals
suggest restricting entry "only to those studying at degree
level."

"We can not reduce net migration significantly without
tackling abuse of the student visa route," an official source
was quoted as saying by the British newspaper.

"We need to consider a number of ways of ensuring that
students coming to the UK are genuinely coming as students. By
introducing a system that is more robust, the Government is
aiming to stamp out abuse while continuing to attract the top
students," the source said.

PTI

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