Proposed Changes to the Visa System

One of the reason why I put myself back up on Facebook is to communicate some of my findings with prospective students who are or wants to come to the UK to further their studies. I find that many people are still unaware, or only partially aware of these things. Having read some of the responses to these proposals, I do find some of the changes rather unfair towards the international students.

Quoting the Consultation Survey on the UKBA website,

“The consultation questions are grouped under the following broad aims we expect our reforms to achieve.

Raising the level of courses students can study. Only Highly Trusted Sponsors will be able to offer courses to adult students at National Qualification Levels 3,4 and 5.

Introducing tougher entry criteria for students other than child students.

-The language bar will be raised, meaning the minimum IELTS score or any other legible English assessment units will be increased.

 

Ensuring students return overseas after their course.

-They are considering to require students who wish to continue their post-grad studies to leave the UK and re-apply visa from overseas, and close the Tier 1 Post Study Work route. This means international students no longer have the option to stay in UK to work right after they graduate.

 

Limiting the entitlements to work and sponsor dependants.

-Students allowed to work only on campus during the week and for any other external employer on weekends or vacation breaks.

-Minimum ratio of work to study placement changed to 66:33 – this makes it harder for international students to obtain a place for internships and industrial placements.

 

Simpler procedures for checking low-risk applications.

Stricter accreditation procedures for education providers in the private sector.

 

The closing date for any response to the UKBA is 31st of January and apparently, many of the international students studying in the same university as I am is unaware of this until several days ago when we were e-mailed directly by the International Student Advice team. What ensued was a flood of e-mails into my inbox as the respondents intelligently clicked on the “Reply to All” button. Nevertheless, it gave me some interesting materials to work on.

The full documentation of the proposal can be obtained from the UKBA website, but for the sake of people who do not have the leisure of sifting words after words of round-a-bout bore, I have quoted part of the summary here.

Check, this is not yet my response to this issue.

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