Student Visa Cuts Reduced
The government has announced that planned cuts in UK student visas will be far less stringent than first proposed.
The British Home Secretary, Theresa May, revealed that the number of international students allowed in to the UK over the next 5 years will be cut by 260,000. Whilst this may sound like a lot, it is far fewer than the 400,000 that had been suggested by the government in March this year.
The new figure accounts for about 15% of international student visas, but it is important to remember that the vast majority of the students denied a visa will be ‘bogus'. The government is specifically aiming the cuts at fake students who attend private colleges simply to gain a visa to the UK, without ever actually planning to study here. If you want to study a legitimate course at a government recognised university or college, then obtaining a visa should not be any more of a problem than it currently is.
However, the chairman of MigrationWatch UK, Sir Andrew Green, has condemned the changes despite their new increased leniency, claiming that the government is approaching the problem from the wrong angle. He suggested that instead of simply creating a headline figure to cut immigration by, there should instead be a stricter interview process before students are granted visas:
"This is just another figure thrust into the debate. But what matters is not the number of students who come here but the number who stay. Bogus students stay and therefore add to net migration whereas genuine students go home at the end of their courses and so do not. Box ticking is no way to detect the bogus."
As the arguments continue, the policies about student visas in the UK are changing all the time, so make sure you regularly check our blog to keep up to date with all the latest.