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Student Visa crackdown could cost UK £2.4bn say Home Office | Immigration Matters

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Plans to cut the number of foreign students arriving in the UK could cost £2.4bn more than they save, according to Home Office estimates.

The figures show the total costs could be £3.5bn, but that would be partially offset by savings of £1.1bn.

Officials estimate the new measures, and Immigration Rule changes to student visas set to come into force on 4 July, will cut net migration by 230,000 by the end of the current parliament.

A Home Office spokesman said the measures are aimed at cutting immigration abuse by bogus students.

In the detailed figures on the plan’s impact, Home Office officials estimate that the plans could cost the economy between £2.2bn and £4.8bn before taking into account savings. They say their best estimate of the net effect is £2.4bn.

The main costs would be an estimated £3.2bn loss from fewer students arriving and working in the UK either during or after their course, and a further loss of £170m in fees to educational institutions.

Savings would include an estimated £840m saving to public services, such as the NHS, by having to deal with fewer immigrants and a further £150m at the UK Border Agency.

Restrictions on numbers

Earlier this year, ministers said they would cut the number of student visas through greater scrutiny of private colleges and courses and tougher English language tests. There will also be restrictions on when students and their dependents can work.

The proposals are expected to eventually reduce the number of students by 75,000 a year, down from roughly 250,000 a year at present.

Officials say the figures are based on a worst-case scenario and it would be reasonable to assume that British workers would take jobs not being held by foreign students.

‘Sledgehammer’

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: “We are radically reforming the immigration system to tackle abuse and bring net migration down to sustainable levels.

“These changes to the student visa system will create a system where every student coming to the UK attends a legitimate course at a legitimate institution.

“They will work alongside our other reforms of the work route and changes being planned for the settlement and the family routes.”

But Pam Tatlow, chief executive of the Million+ think tank that represents new universities, said “the system did not need the government to take a sledgehammer to it”, although it was necessary to crack down on bogus universities.

She said university leaders had been warning “for months” about the likely cost of the visa changes.

“At a time of economic difficulty, we should not be introducing reforms that will damage the UK or stop us attracting the talent and skills we need to rebuild our economy,” she said.

Shadow home office minister Shabana Mahmood said the government’s immigration policy was in “disarray”.

The government had “succeeded in damaging the reputation of UK universities” and was not providing the UK Borders Agency with sufficient resources, she said.

“At the heart of Tory immigration policy is chaos, confusion and a failure to protect both the UK border and the economy,” she said.

Taking action’

On Monday the government also released figures showing it had revoked the licences of 33 education providers since May 2010, saying they had failed to comply with the government’s requirements.

These included Rockfield College, Torquay, which the Home Office said had claimed to be offering University of London degrees but could produce no evidence to prove it – although Martin Beech, the former principle of the college, told the BBC the claims were incorrect and the licence had been granted just two weeks before it was revoked.

In another case, the licence was revoked from St Georges College UK Ltd, which the Home Office said was unable to account for a “high proportion” of students who had applied for visas to study there, and the Waterloo School of English, which it said was “operating without premises”.

Neither organisation could be reached for comment at the time of publication.

Another 32 providers have had their licences suspended.

Mr Green said the figures showed “that this government will not hesitate in taking action against educational providers who do not abide by our rules”.

The government has long been trying to clamp down on so-called bogus colleges set up to get around visa rules under the pretence of offering courses. Source: BBC/Home Office.

The changes to the student visa route will mainly hit private colleges with restrictions on working for students studying only at private providers.

From 4 July the UK Border Agency will:

  • restrict work entitlements to migrants studying at higher educational institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges only;
  • restrict the sponsorship of dependants to those studying at postgraduate level at HEIs on courses lasting at least 12 months, and government-sponsored students on courses lasting at least 6 months;
  • require education providers to vouch that a new course represents genuine academic progression;
  • ensure that maintenance funds are genuinely available to the applicant, by introducing a declaration on the visa application form;
  • commit to publish a list of financial institutions that we consider, on the basis of experience, do not verify financial statements to our satisfaction in more than 50 per cent of a sample of cases;
  • introduce a streamlined application process for low-risk nationals applying to attend courses with Highly Trusted Sponsors;
  • extend the list of courses for which students must receive ATAS clearance;
  • restrict the ability to deliver accountancy courses accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to those sponsors accorded platinum or gold status by ACCA; and
  • clarify the position of overseas universities with campuses in the UK.

The changes will not affect Bulgarian and Romanian students who wish to come to the UK to study and work on a Yellow Card.

See article:

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website 

See article:

 

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website

See also:

Latest phase of student visa rule changes come into force 4 July

Top British academics launch £18,000pa private college in London

Why do international students choose to study in the UK?

Free service launched to help overseas students study at UK Universities

New Tier 4 Student Visa rules implemented 21 April 2011, but will students applying to private colleges be allowed to work?

Student visas can be cancelled if a student changes college without permission

International student numbers soar as UK remains an attractive place to study

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

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4 Responses to “Student Visa crackdown could cost UK £2.4bn say Home Office”
Read them below or add one

  1. ABDUL MAJEED MALIK says :

    Dear Sirs, (1) I would like to know that if a student came to UK as a student about 2 years ago and would like to call his family, Can he do that under the new legislation. His Student Visa is going to expires in 2013.

    (2) Should a Student Visa holder can travel to Europe as a visitor to Germany, France, Holland Etc.

    I will be very thank full to you.

  2. Dear sir, I will only say that everything the British government decide to do concerning students entrance to their country, they have all the rights but I will suggest that it should be done on the bases that students should leave their country when ever they finish studying. The government should find a way of getting all records and monitor everything because some people are actually there to study and if all these policies affects them then harm must have done to legitimate individuals career aspirations.thank you very much..

  3. […] Student Visa crackdown could cost UK £2.4bn say Home Office […]

  4. […] According to Home Office figures published by the BBC yesterday the student visa changes could cost the UK economy £2.4bn. […]

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