Showing posts with label Immigration Policy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Immigration Policy. Show all posts

Thursday 1 July 2021

The Graduate route is open Today - Post study work visa 2021

The immigration rules were updated this morning to launch the long-awaited Graduate route, which opened for applications at 9am today.

The Graduate route is a new work route for those who have a degree or other relevant qualification from an approved UK Higher Education provider. Applications opened on 1 July 2021. Your application does not need sponsorship or any endorsement by an employer or by your university. It is similar to the old Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa route that ended in 2012.

Most successful applicants can stay for two years under the Graduate route. PhD graduates can stay for three years (The older Doctorate Extension Scheme is closed now and will be replaced by the new Graduate route.)

The new Skilled Worker visa will (Formerly Tier 2 work Visa) include some changes, mostly beneficial and helpful for students who wish to work after studies.

All immigration applications normally will include an immigration health surcharge at £624 per year.

Monday 6 February 2017

UK student Visa and Immigration updates in relation to EU & non EU International Students in UK - 2017

The Home Office released a statement of changes to the immigration rules on the 3 November 2016. The main changes affecting students will affect applications made on or after the 24 November 2016

Today, we will reflect on Trends and Observations for year 2017 – below we will try to outline UK student Visa and Immigration updates in relation to EU & non EU International Students in UK

Last Month, UKCISA voiced on International Student matters in relation to UK Immigration policy at Home Affairs committee's Immigration Inquiry

Below is a submission made by UKCISA to Home Office Committee’s Immigration Inquiry? - We shall outline few major observations from the submission

“Impact of current (Immigration) policy”
  • The cumulative effect, however, of government rhetoric, policies to create a ‘hostile environment’, hugely complex and restrictive rules and a disproportionately harsh inspection and compliance regime - even for globally recognised and respected universities – together with the abolition of Post-Study Work - has been, for the majority of institutions, a significant downturn in international student numbers.
  • Of particular concern have been the so-called ‘credibility interviews’ which undermine the objectivity and transparency of the decision making process and which have led some institutions – fearing the revocation of their licence if the visa refusal limit is breached – to restrict or end entirely making offers to any students in particular countries (such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria) – details available.
  • Numbers going to private colleges have been decimated, those to publicly funded Further Education colleges reduced by over 50% and the latest Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) returns show that overall numbers coming to UK universities are no longer increasing and that first year arrivals are now on the decrease.
  • The HESA statistics also show that over the last 5 years the downturn and impact on certain local communities (which arguably might need investment and jobs most) has been particularly severe with non-EU student numbers decreasing in Bedfordshire by 66%, Teesside by 65%, Staffordshire 52%, Bradford 45%, Hull by 40%, Wolverhampton 37%.
  • Whilst ministers say that applications to Russell Group universities have been on the rise (which is true) this is not the case for the vast majority of institutions and many believe that a change in policy on non-EU/Tier 4 students is now essential.
  • This is now urgently required as a January 2017 report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) suggests that any further ‘crackdown’ by the Home Office – as suggested by the Secretary of State’s speech in October 2016 – could lead to additional lost income of £2bn per year.
  • The final concern is that many believe that without access to loans and being subject to higher fees the number of EU students coming to the UK may significantly decrease in the future.

Amid this,The home secretary, Amber Rudd, pledged a crackdown on international student numbers at the Conservative party conference in October,last year, to include tougher visa rules for “lower quality” universities and courses. But senior university sources are warning that the cutbacks could be far more severe than expected. They say they have seen Home Office plans that model slashing overseas student numbers, with one option to cut the current 300,000 to 170,000 a year.

Thursday 11 February 2016

Summary of Recent Changes to UK Student Visa and News Watch end of 2015 to 2016,February

Summary of Recent Changes to UK Student Visa and News watch on recent phenomenon in the UK Higher Education in respect to UK Visa matters for the prospect of International Students in UK

Towards the End of 2015 following following rules changed for international students specifically non EU students in UK - UK Student Visa- New Changes for International Students - 2015, November

The number of new entrants to Scottish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from India fell by 63% between 2010/11 and 2013/14. At present it is estimated only around 2500 Indian students are perusing higher education in Scotland.. 
The placid hope for re introduction of Post study work (PSW) visa came to an end with the UK governments announcement of not to reintroducing the PSW visa for international students

Last Month, January, 2016,  Data published by London & Partners, the city’s official promotion organisation revealed that China remains the leading source of London’s international student population, with 13,460 students from the country residing in the UK’s capital and also showed Indians student numbers are rapidly falling down in London due to recent changes to UK student visa regulations.

Last week, February 2016, A student visa scam involving at least half a million pounds has been unearthed in west London where an unscrupulous immigration consultant have made money from international students by promising them a Tier 2 visa work visa after completion of their studies.

The much controversial Institution, LSBF which is owned by Global University Systems lost its Tier 4 licence again curtailing hundreds of student visas, Some 350 international students have been told they must leave the UK by the end of next month (March, 2016) - Curtailment letters issued by the Home office stated that “It is not considered that the circumstances in your case are such that discretion should be exercised in your favour,” “The secretary of state has therefore decided to curtail your leave to enter or remain.” Continued with standard refusal statements According to the Institution/LSBF, most of the students were either in the final year of an undergraduate degree or on one-year master's programmes

Today, 11th February,2016, Times Higher Education(THE) reported on the forced departure from the UK of a US PhD graduate, The author, Martin McQuillan , pro vice-chancellor for research at Kingston University. argues that Non-EU students are now being sacrificed as political pawns in his article in THE.

Note / Public domain information: Paul is a US citizen who was awarded a PhD by the University of Birmingham. He was well known as a participant in Kingston University’s Shakespeare Seminar and was working on postdoctoral applications to the Wellcome and the Leverhulme trusts to continue his research at Kingston. This was until he was arrested at his home address in Stratford-upon-Avon and detained at Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre in Lincolnshire for 10 days, before being released to leave the UK of his own volition.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

UK Student Visa - New Changes for International Students - 2015, November

On 12th November 2015 the following rules changed for international students

1.. Tier 4 (General) students studying at colleges (private or public) can no longer extend their stay in Tier 4 or switch into any other points-based route (Such as Tier 2 or Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)), unless they are studying at a college which UKVI classes as an “embedded college”. There is no change for students attending a university.

2. The length of time that a Tier 4 (General) student may spend studying further education courses (i.e. courses at National Qualifications Framework levels 3-5 and equivalents) will be reduced from three years to two.

3. All Tier 4 students who are extending their visa or applying for a new visa will need to show they have maintenance funds for the duration of their course or 9 months whichever is shorter. Previously if a student had been in the UK for 6 months or more (i.e. already studying) a reduced rate applied, as they were deemed to have “established presence.”

4. The area in which Tier 4 students have to demonstrate a higher ‘London’ level of funds is being expanded to include the University of London or institutions wholly or partly within the area comprising the City of London and the Former Metropolitan Police District.

Study UK (An association for independent providers of higher education, further education and professional training) estimates that over the next 3 years each institution would loss £210 000 rising to average loss of £337 000 by 2017

*About the survey: Study UK’s 135 members, of which 56 responded, 34 colleges said they would suffer “significant financial losses” over the next three years because of the changes.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Home office crack down on Visa fraud

An estimated 48,000 immigrants may have fraudulently obtained English language certificates despite being unable to speak English, the government has said, Of the 48,000 certificates, 29,000 were invalidand 19,000 were "questionable". said Immigration Minister James Brokenshire.

Glyndwr University has lost its ‘highly trusted’ sponsor status after the test scores of more than 230 students it sponsored were identified as being invalid, while the University of West London (UWL) and the University of Bedfordshire have been barred from sponsoring new international students pending further investigations to decide whether they will also be suspended.

Nearly 300 overseas students at the private London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) worked and paid tax last year, with one student working 60 hours a week for six months.

In an investigation, HMRC found that some of the students were earning £ 20 000 per year despite rules preventing them from working 20 hours per week during term time.

“London campuses are home to a high proportion of international students, and QAA has been in discussions with the Home Office over the best way to protect their interests.”

In a latest development, The QAA, The Higher education watch dog has written to 14 universities about their London operations

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is conducting an independent inquiry into higher education delivered via London branch campuses

Full list of universities included in the QAA inquiry:

Anglia Ruskin University
Bangor University
Coventry University
University of Cumbria
University of East Anglia
Glasgow Caledonian University
Glyndwr University
University of Liverpool
Loughborough University
Northumbria University
University of Sunderland
University of Ulster
University of Wales Trinity St David
University of South Wales

Full list of suspended colleges in 2014

Thursday 22 September 2011

Post Study Work Visa......What Next?

Post Study Work Visa....What Next ? There are only very few options left for the PSW Visa holders. Fahmida Khan, Consultant Editor, writes

PSW Overview
The Tier 1 – Post Study Work route was intended to allow recent international or Non EU graduates from most established universities / listed bodies to stay and work in UK for maximum for two years. PSW visa allows them to work without any restrictions but it cannot be extended beyond two years. A post-study worker is expected to switch into any of the below points-based system:
  • Tier 1 General
  • Tier 2 General or
  • Tier 4
Current Situation
As of April 2011 the Tier 1 General category has been closed for all applicants.
Click here to read the full article

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Sunday 17 July 2011

Staying after studies

While many students pursue their education overseas for its quality, some see a student visa as an easy ‘guarantee’ for permanent residency.


Informative article to read, click here for more

Monday 13 June 2011

New Policy Update - Student Visa Process, Next set of changes from 4th July 2011.

The next set of changes to the Immigration Rules affecting Tier 4 - the student tier - of the points-based system has been laid in Parliament today. The changes will come into effect on 4 July 2011.

The aim of the revised Immigration Rules is to deliver a strong migration system which tackles immigration abuse, while allowing genuine students to study at genuine colleges.

From 4 July UKBA will:
  • Restrict work entitlements to migrants studying at higher educational institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges only;
  • Restrict the sponsorship of dependants to those studying at postgraduate level at HEIs on courses lasting at least 12 months, and government-sponsored students on courses lasting at least 6 months;
  • Require education providers to vouch that a new course represents genuine academic progression;
  • Ensure that maintenance funds are genuinely available to the applicant, by introducing a declaration on the visa application form;
  • Commit to publish a list of financial institutions, on the basis of experience, which do not verify financial statements in more than 50 per cent of a sample of cases;
  • Introduce a streamlined application process for low-risk nationals applying to attend courses with Highly Trusted Sponsors;
  • Extend the list of courses for which students must receive ATAS clearance;
  • Restrict the ability to deliver accountancy courses accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to those sponsors accorded platinum or gold status by ACCA; and
  • Clarify the position of overseas universities with campuses in the UK.
Click here for more...

Tuesday 22 March 2011

New Policy Update –Final Draft Policy, Tighter Regulations for UK student visa

The much awaited and long anticipated changes in the Student Visa Policy was announced yesterday by the Home Secretary Theresa May, who said student visas were being abused and "too many were here to work and not to study"

According to UKBA, New Student Visa Policy in Summary, To be in effect from the First Week of April , 2011,The main changes are as follows:

§ From April 2012, any institution wanting to sponsor students will need to be classed as a Highly Trusted sponsor, and will need to become accredited by a statutory education inspection body by the end of 2012. The current system does not require this, and has allowed too many poor-quality colleges to become sponsors.

§ Students coming to study at degree level will need to speak English at an 'upper intermediate' (B2) level, rather than the current 'lower intermediate' (B1) requirement.

§ UK Border Agency staff will be able to refuse entry to students who cannot speak English without an interpreter, and who therefore clearly do not meet the minimum standard.

§ Students at universities and publicly funded further education colleges will retain their current work rights, but all other students will have no right to work. We will place restrictions on work placements in courses outside universities.

§ Only postgraduate students at universities and government-sponsored students will be able to bring their dependants. At the moment, all students on longer courses can bring their dependants.

§ We will limit the overall time that can be spent on a student visa to 3 years at lower levels (as it is now) and 5 years at higher levels. At present, there is no time limit for study at or above degree level.

§ We will close the Tier 1 (Post-study work) route, which allows students 2 years to seek employment after their course ends. Only graduates who have an offer of a skilled job from a sponsoring employer under Tier 2 of the points-based system will be able to stay to work.

You can read New Student Visa Policy Summary in detail here or download

In my opinion the privately funded education industry in Britain is being marginalized and heavily regulated, with NO level playing ground ever offered on par with state funded Universities and publicly funded FE Colleges,

Rushdy Razak

Tuesday 1 February 2011

New Policy Update – Student Visa Process

Tougher rules for non-EU students, New Student Visa Policy Updates and PSW Closure…
The official consultation period on the student visa route closed by 31st Jan, 2011.

Yesterday, Damian Green, the Immigration minister, said "It seems to me that to allow unfettered access to the jobs market for two years to anyone with a student visa from abroad is putting an unnecessary extra strain on our own graduates," – This implies limiting post-study work at a time when graduate unemployment is at its peak for 17 years.

According to the Yesterday’s Interview with BBC Immigration Minister Damian Green has announced a review of every route used to gain the right to live and work indefinitely in the UK. access the Interview Video with BBC here
In a speech for a Think Tank Organization, yesterday, He was targeting the private FE sector offering below degree level courses, in which 613 private colleges were rated less than "highly trusted" by the UK Border Agency. The sector brought in 91,000 students last year, he said.
He cited cases including that of a college that had two lecturers for 940 students, amid all this railway time-table announcements of new student policy updates, many UK Colleges wary on new Visa Rules, Click Here to read the FT Analysis
As the official consultation ended up on newly announced student visa policy Expect further detailed procedures and guidelines in the coming days; it is to be finally announced means It is to be implemented by first week of April, 2011

We also expect, not wish - Revamp of settlement rights which means thousands of migrants are to lose the right to live in the UK permanently

Rushdy Razak

UK Immigration and Nationality Policy Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information and Basic Regulations

Tuesday 7 December 2010

New Policy Update - Student Visa Process

New Policy Update in Summery 
  1. Raising the level of courses students can study, with only Highly Trusted Sponsors able to offer courses to adult students below degree level.
  2. introducing a tougher English language requirement;(competence at intermediary level B2)
  3. ensuring students wishing to extend their studies show evidence of academic progression;
  4. limiting students' entitlements to work and their ability to bring in dependants; and
  5. improving the accreditation process for education providers, alongside more rigorous inspections.
Further today's new policy drive is to ensure students return overseas after their course finishes will mean students will have to leave the UK and apply for a new visa to further their studies, and show evidence of progression to a higher course. It will also see the closure of the post-study route under Tier 1.

The consultation will run for 8 weeks until 31st January. This is shorter than a standard 12 week consultation so that the policy can be announced in advance of the next academic year.

Rushdy Razak,
Extract from UKBA, 7th Dec, 2010, 3.30PM(GMT)

Government confirms plans to curb international student visa

The immigration minister, Damian Green, today confirmed the government's intention to bar tens of thousands of adult overseasstudents coming to study "below-degree-level" courses in Britain at all but "highly trusted" colleges.

Today's proposals follow a major review of the Student Visa Process

Click here to read the Guardians latest report, Just released

Foreign students forced to go home after studies under tough new immigration rules

Tens of thousands of foreign students will be forced to go home after finishing their studies under plans to scrap a controversial visa regime that allows them to stay in the UK to look for work.

Click here to Read More

Monday 6 December 2010

Foreign student crackdown

Up to 100,000 foreign students will be barred from Britain every year under planned tough new immigration rules to be unveiled tomorrow

Ministers will suggest reducing further the current restriction that students can only work for 20 hours a week to supplement their funds and are likely to raise the bar as to when they can bring dependants with them, which is currently set at those staying for six months or more.
Click here to read further

Click here to read my earlier predictions made in September, 2010

Rushdy Razak

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Annual limit for Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa applications

This is a new policy guidance, it is not still statutory, even my a alert from UKBA says it is a draft
It is a Good Read to read, Hopefully by next year April, it will be implemented without much change

The Home Secretary announced on 23 November 2010 a number of changes to immigration policy in respect of Tiers 1 and 2 of the points-based system, designed to deliver the government's commitment to place a limit on non-EU economic migration to the UK.
Click here to read further
24 November 2010

Tuesday 8 June 2010

New Government Policy on Immigration capping is questioned

New official figures published on Thursday 27 May show a continued decline in net immigration to the UK. If current trends persist, net immigration may drop below 100,000 – putting the government on course to reach its much stated aim of reducing the level to “tens of thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands.”
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics and the Home Office show:
  • Net migration to the UK (the surplus of people immigrating over people emigrating) in the year to September 2009 [1] was 142,000. This compares with 160,000 in the year to September 2008 – a decline of more than 11%.
  • Declining net emigration by British citizens included in this figure disguises an even more dramatic fall in net immigration by non-British citizens, which was just 185,000 in the year to September 2009, down almost 27% on the year to 2008 and compared with peaks of well over 300,000 in 2004/05.
  • Most striking is the fact that the UK is now seeing net emigration by citizens of A8 countries, for the first time since EU accession – 12,000 more A8 citizens left than arrived in the year to September 2009.
Tim Finch, Head of Migration at ippr, said:
'Until we know the number at which the new Government is going cap annual immigration it is impossible to be sure what impact it will have. But the latest figures raise questions over why it is needed at all, given that net immigration is declining anyway.
'Certainly, trying to cap immigration at artificially low levels, whatever the pressures of public opinion, would be counter productive as it would restrict the ability of UK employers to bring in highly-skilled workers and workers in shortage occupations which would only harm both public services like the NHS and the economic recovery.'

Thursday 6 May 2010

Conservative policy on Immigration – what can we expect from the election favourites?

To day the Elections

I find the post below by Charles Kelly for "Immigration Matters" would be very beneficial for the readers/observers and interested parties in immigration policy -Analyzer
So what can we expect from David Cameron on immigration?

The Conservatives has pledged to ‘reduce net immigration to the levels of the 1990s’ primarily through imposing an annual cap on non-EU immigration.

They have also promised to ‘crackdown on illegal immigration by introducing a dedicated Border Police Force and tighten up the student visa system, which they say is the ‘biggest hole in our border controls’.

The party website devotes a section – ‘Where we Stand’ – to immigration and outlines the following policies pledges:

Britain can benefit from immigration, but not uncontrolled immigration. Look at any aspect of life today and you will see the contribution that migrants have brought, and not just to the economy. We want to continue to attract the brightest and the best people to the UK, but with control on the overall numbers coming here.

A Conservative government will reduce net immigration to the levels of the 1990s – tens of thousands a year, instead of the hundreds of thousands a year under Labour.

Our immigration policy is based on four strands:

We will introduce an annual limit on the numbers of non-EU economic migrants allowed to work here, taking into consideration the effects a rising population has on our public services and local communities. The limit would change each year to take into account the wider effects of immigration on society;

We will work to prevent illegal migration with a dedicated Border Police Force to crack down on illegal immigration and people trafficking;

We will introduce important new rules to tighten up the student visa system, which at the moment is the biggest hole in our border controls; and

We will promote integration into British society. There will be an English language test for anyone coming here from outside the EU to get married.

A Conservative government would also apply transitional controls as a matter of course for all future EU entrants.

Source: Conservative Part website.

David Cameron should not forget the economic benefits and energy which migrant workers and students bring to the UK.

Students alone are worth £8 billion to the UK economy, according to Home Office figures, and working migrants are only taking jobs which employers cannot fill locally or which British workers do not want.

Friday 30 April 2010

Where They Stand on Race Relations & Immigration

Guide to party election policies

What should the UK's approach to immigration be? Some believe that it boosts the economy and has made UK into a truly multicultural country. But others say that the arrival of large numbers in recent years has put a strain on hospitals, schools and transport in some places and created a fragmented society.

A Free Tool Kit with Smart Menus ...Click here to view/analyse
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