The UK Border Agency is standing by its decision to revoke the Tier 4 licence to sponsor non-EU international students.
On Friday the university started legal proceedings in the High Court to overturn the agency’s ban on teaching overseas students.
The Court ruled that existing international students on Tier 4 visas with full immigration status should be allowed to continue their studies for now, giving over 2000 students a temporary stay of execution.
Mr Justice Irwin granted permissionto the university to mount a full legal challenge in the form of a judicial review and made temporary orders protecting some students.
He said that existing overseas students and ones who are due to start this term would be allowed to start or continue as long as they were already in the UK and had full immigration status, pending a resolution of the issue.
In a statement released following the ruling, a UK Border Agency spokesperson said:
“London Metropolitan University’s Tier 4 sponsor licence remains revoked. London Metropolitan has failed to get its sponsor status restored and the judge has not granted interim relief.
‘UKBA agreed to allow existing genuine students to continue studying at the university until their course has ended or the end of the academic year, whichever is sooner — as long as they meet the right standards. But students who are here illegally and do not meet our immigration criteria will not be allowed to stay.
Revoking the university’s licence was the right course of action and we will continue to fight the University’s challenge at the full hearing.”
The agency added that their decision to revoke London Metropolitan University’s licence therefore ‘remains in place’, but conceded that “the judgment does allow existing genuine students to stay on at the university until their course has ended or the academic year, whichever is sooner – as long as they meet Tier 4 requirements. This means we will make additional checks on affected students at the university”.
The agency will update guidance for students at London Metropolitan University in light of this judgment.
In the meantime London Met students are invited contact the help centre if they have any questions about what the court judgment means for them.
The licence suspension, revocation and the subsequent court case, with two government departments slugging it out in public at the taxpayer expense, is hugely damaging for the multi-billion pound international education sector.
Meanwhile, the students caught in the crossfire are the ones who are really suffering.
The ongoing legal action will cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds, but that’s a fraction of the millions the university would lose if their licence is permanently revoked.
If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email:
Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.
For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It doesn’t matter where you come from – UK, Europe or anywhere else in the world, it is important to ensure that your qualifications are recognised. In the UK there is a national agency that carries out this service, they are called UK NARIC.