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UK’s New Stringent Student Visa Regime

In the wake of massive student visa fraud that was busted in the UK earlier this year, stringent measures have now been called for. The new immigration rule rolled out seeks to establish tougher regulations which will promote fair and legitimate student visa regime.

Britain made it clear that the new rule imposed would ensure to improve the admission procedures. From November onwards, educational institutes may lose their rights to bring in new students to the UK, if more than one in 10 applications are rejected. Current practice allows for 20%. So the minimum three month grace period is an advantageous position for the educational institutes to re-examine and revamp their admission mechanism. Under this regulation, 64 colleges have lost their right to sponsor.

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According to Theresa May, Home Secretary, “We are building an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants, but tough on those who abuse it or flout the law. The Immigration Act is a landmark piece of legislation that will make Britain a less attractive place for those who come here for the wrong reasons, and will allow us to remove more people when they have no right to remain”. She intends to cut number of student visas, by 80,000.

The new regulations made it mandatory that a new minimum three month delay should be up before people start asking for benefits, especially applicants from EU. Again, there would be a six month time-limit on job seekers allowance in which case, there should be a clear prospect for employment. There shall be a restriction on dependants joining the student and the number of years an international student can stay after the completion of his or her course. There are also provisions to check on the misuse of visa by limiting the hours of paid work for the international students.

The new regulation has already taken its toll on Indian students. There has been a 38% drop in enrollment of Indian students in universities and colleges across the UK. Currently Britain has 105,000 international students from 220 nations. And, the total income from international students – non-Europe – was £3 billion for the academic year 2012-13.  After this new regulation, there has been a drastic change in the number of international students coming to London. It has achieved a sharp fall after three decades.

Things have gone a little topsy-turvy earlier this year when the BBC’s Panorama report came out with evidences suggesting certain trusted institutions being disrespectful of the existing norms. There was a huge network of organized crime which faked documents and carried out mass malpractice in government-approved exams. The fraud allowed students to obtain a visa those who can’t speak English.