The House of Lords has voted to remove students studying on a UK Tier 4 (General) Visa from immigration figures. This will include many Indian and Chinese nationals, currently in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa.
At present, foreign students are included in the 100,000 a year net migration target made by the Tory government. Academics and politicians argue that the British public does not consider those on international Student Visas in the same way it does migrants coming to work in the UK and therefore makes this number unrealistic.
In a crushing blow to Theresa May’s government, the House of Lords has agreed, recommending an amendment to remove international students from overseas migration figures.
A survey in 2016 found that three-quarters of British people do not consider overseas students as immigrants. Non-EU students generate around £26 billion for the UK economy and support nearly 200,000 jobs.
Home Secretary proposals to limit foreign students
Last year, British Home Secretary, Amber Rudd angered not only higher educational institutes and private schools, but many overseas governments, including India, when she proposed a new Points-Based System (PBS) aimed at international students. The new rules would see a two-tier visa rules system affecting poorer quality universities and courses, making it much harder to obtain a Tier 4 (General) Visa.
In her speech, the Home Secretary stated that while an international student was studying in Britain, their family members could do any form of work:
“….and foreign students, even those studying English language degrees, don’t even have to be proficient in speaking English. We need to look at whether this one-size-fits-all approach really is right for the hundreds of different universities providing thousands of different courses across the country. And we need to look at whether this generous offer for all universities is really adding value to our economy,” said the home secretary.
“I’m passionately committed to making sure our world-leading institutions can attract the brightest and the best. But a student immigration system that treats every student and university as equal only punishes those we should want to help. So our consultation will ask what more can we do to support our best universities – and those that stick to the rules – to attract the best talent … while looking at tougher rules for students on lower quality courses.”
The proposed changes have been described as ‘madness’ by the Labour party and academics, who, according to The Guardian, have expressed the view that the only people cheering this announcement will be competitors to the UK education market.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education declared the House of Lords decision ‘disappointing,' stating that the amendment could lead to immigration officials not being able to do routine visa checks or impose specific conditions on UK Student Visas.
The amendments will now be sent back to the House of Commons for a final vote by MPs.
OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best immigration law firms in the UK. If you need advice on any immigration law matters, please phone our office on 0203 959 9123 to talk to one of our dedicated Immigration Lawyers.
For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS Immigration Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.
We are one of the UK’s top firms for Immigration Solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, spouse visas, Student Visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and human rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, entrepreneur visas and Investor Visas.
Our top Immigration Solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.
Disclaimer: The information and comments on this page/site is made available free of charge and for educational and information purposes only. The information and comments do not amount to and are not intended to be adopted as legal advice to any individual or company. The use of this site should not be a substitute for specific legal advice, which we ask you to see our contact page or call our solicitors on 0203 959 9123.
By using this site you understand that there is no solicitor and client relationship between you/your company and the site owners or the firm. We make every effort to keep the published articles up-to-date and accurate, however the law changes very rapidly and the older the articles on this site, the more likely that the views in it have changed with the development of the law.
Posted on: Wednesday, 15 March, 2017