Crackdown on FE international student visas

30 Jul 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Overseas students attending publicly-funded further education colleges will no longer be permitted to work while they are studying in the UK.

The latest crackdown on students from outside the European Union will remove the right to work up to 10 hours a week when it comes into force next month.

It is part of what the Home Office said was a new attempt to prevent visa fraud and ensure that student visas were not being used as “a backdoor to the country’s job market”.

The working ban is included in a raft of measures which are being introduced for overseas students attending further education colleges. The length of visas are being cut from three years to two and students will not be allowed to extend their study visa unless they are registered at an institution with a formal link to a university. In addition, students who want to work in the UK at the end of their course must first leave the country and then apply to return.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire claimed that some immigration advisers had been pointing people in the direction of further education courses as a way into the UK jobs market.

He said: “Immigration offenders want to sell illegal access to the UK jobs market, and there are plenty of people willing to buy.

“Hardworking taxpayers who are helping to pay for publicly funded colleges expect them to be providing top-class education, not a backdoor to a British work visa.”

International students are being targeted as part of the Government’s efforts to reduce the net number of migrants to the UK. The numbers attending further education colleges has already fallen from more than 110,000 in 2011 to 18,297 in the past year.