Prime Minister David Cameron has appointed Mark Harper, MP for Forest of Dean as the new Minister for Immigration, taking over from Damian Green.
In his new post as a Minister at the Home Office, Mark will be working for the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, focusing on matters relating to immigration.
Mr Harper said: “It is a real privilege to represent the Forest of Dean in Parliament, and I will continue to serve my constituents loyally as I have done for the last seven years.
“It was a privilege to be asked by the Prime Minister to join the Coalition Government in 2010, and is a further honour to be asked to take up this new role in the Home Office.
“I look forward to working with Theresa May on playing our part in keeping this country a safe place to live, while making our economy more competitive and ensuring our country is one for people who work hard and want to get on.”
Mr Harper was elected as Member of Parliament in May 2005 and was soon elevated to Shadow Minister for Defence.
In July 2007, he was appointed as a Shadow Minister for Disabled People.
The outgoing Minister, Damian Green, has introduced major changes to the Immigration Rules since he was appointed just over two years ago.
The new Minister is expected to continue following through on the government’s plans to slash new migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ by the end of this parliament.
He has a challenge on his hands, with net migration to December 2011 confirmed last week at over twice the target figure at 216,000 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
There has been a large drop in student visas in the year to June 2012, with 282,833 being granted during that period.
This means that more than 75,000 fewer student visas were issued in the year to June than in the previous 12 months – a drop of 21%.
Immigration Advisers Bison Management said that that tough new student visa rules and the abolition of the post study work visa (PSW) is deterring international students.
“The massive drop in international students comes as no surprise and will cost universities billions in lost revenue as students vote with their feet” she said.
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:
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.