Paper calls for stricter UK immigration rules

06 Jan 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

UK immigration must be much strictly controlled were overseas students are concerned in order to prevent people taking advantage of the UK visa system.

This is according to a recent paper published by think tank MigrationWatch, which stated that more than 250,000 people enter the country through student visas and yet no checks are made on their departure.

As a result, the group claimed that around 32,000 join the country's workforce each year illegally without a UK work permit.

MigrationWatch chairman Sir Andrew Green explained: "Problems arise when a 'student's' real intention is to remain in Britain and work illegally.

"Some do not even turn up to begin their courses, others stay on afterwards."

The number of people entering the UK via a student visa doubled between 2001 and 2008 to stand at 175,000.

However, by March 2010 and the introduction of the Points Based System for students, this figure had increased again to 235,000.

The paper follows the coalition government's decision to take action to crack down on the abuse of UK visas for students.

UK immigration minister Damian Green said that the country needs to be "more selective" regarding who is permitted to enter the country through this route.

His comments coincided with the launch of a consultation to seek views on a number of measures designed to reduce the number of students permitted to enter the UK.

The proposals include introducing a tougher English language requirement, limiting entitlements to work and reducing the number of people permitted to come into the country to study at below degree level.