Tier 4 reforms- Government proposals to ?shake-up’ the student visa system including tougher entrance criteria

On 7th December 2010, the Immigration Minister Damian Green announced Government proposals to ‘shake-up’ the student visa system including tougher entrance criteria.  The Government will be more selective when considering Tier 4 applicants and revealed that currently, over 40 percent of migrant students in the UK are studying below degree level courses.  Green stated that too many students abuse the system by arriving in the UK with a student visa and then staying on here to live and work instead. The target is therefore to reduce the net amount of migrants with a public consultation being launched in this respect. The proposals include the following:

Reducing the amount of migrants studying below degree level courses
Introducing tougher English language requirements
Limiting students entitlement to work
Making sure that students demonstrate academic progress
Improving the accreditation of education providers a with a focus on more rigorous inspections

These proposals are just a part of the recent Government reforms being introduced over the immigration categories as a whole with the student category making up for two thirds of migrants each year.

It appears therefore, that the new Tier 4 proposals will restrict migration to those studying degree level courses unless the sponsor is a highly trusted sponsor.  Migrants may have to pass a B2 level of English as opposed to the B 1 level which is a requisite now.

The UK Border Agency also announced on  that the December limit on Tier 1 type applications has been reached. The Government introduced limits on Tier based applications which are being administered on a monthly basis. This began in July 2010 and will continue until 31st March 2011. The limit does not affect dependant applications or those seeking to switch into the Tier 1 from other categories. Applicants from outside the UK can still apply for Tier 1 however, if they are successful, they will not be issued a visa until the new limit allocation re opens.

At Ergen & Sharif, we provide a comprehensive service to prospective and existing students as well as sponsors. Simply contact us on 0207 569 3035 or alternatively email us at info@ergensharif.co.uk.


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