Student UK visa consultation to close

26 Jan 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The eight-week consultation period regarding UK visas allocated to students is due to close on January 31st.

Interested parties, such as universities and employers, might want to ensure that their views regarding UK visas are logged with the Home Office before this data.

The proposals put forward are designed to develop a "more robust system" that encourages genuine students, immigration minister Damian Green explained.

He added: "I believe attracting talented students from abroad is vital to the UK but we must be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay.

"I am pleased that so far people have been engaging with us on this issue, and we have received a substantial number of responses. I want to encourage those who haven't had their say to do so now."

At the moment, the plans for change include reducing the number of people coming to the UK to study below degree level, unless the institution is recognised as a highly trusted sponsor.

In addition, the UK immigration officials intend to introduce a tougher English language requirement and ensure that students who wish to extend their studies have demonstrable evidence of academic progression.

Around two-thirds of all migrants entering the UK each year do so through the Tier 4 student visa route of the points based system.

These high numbers are the reason the government intends to focus its efforts on reducing the number of people entering the country as students.

However, reductions in the number of people able to enter through the Tier 1 and Tier 2 routes are also to be imposed later in the year.