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Students are not migrants says MP Keith Vaz | Immigration Matters

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The Daily Mail reports that international students should be excluded from migration limits as the Government will struggle to hit ambitious targets to cut immigration, the chairman of a powerful select committee claimed this week.

Keith Vaz MP

Labour’s Keith Vaz, who chairs the Home Affairs Select Committee, said the Home Office’s limit on net migration was in jeopardy because of a change in the target of issuing student visas.

He said: ‘The Government’s intention in trying to limit the number of students (who are not migrants) coming into this country is based on their view that in the next four years they will have been able to have reduced net migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands.

‘But I am sure I and other Members will have been very surprised that already, if you look at what the Government has said, that they have revised their statistics, they have revised their calculations.’

He added: ‘I think it is going to be very difficult for the Government to meet this target. When the Home Secretary made her statement to the House, she said she ‘hoped’ to be able to reduce student numbers by 80,000 each year until 2015.

‘But on June 13 the Home Office revised their figures and told us that curbing student visas will reduce total numbers by only 46,000 annually.

‘Some could say this is because the Government has listened and recognised the importance of the student route.’

His comments came during a Westminster Hall debate on visas for foreign students, where MPs urged the Government to abandon limits on student visas because of the money they bring into universities and towns and cities.

Mr Vaz (Leicester East) criticised the previous Labour Government for failing to count people in and out of the country at border controls, throwing official figures into doubt.

He added: ‘If we are going to have a debate, let us have some figures we can all agree on. At the moment, we still don’t have those figures.’

40% drop in student applications from India 

Mr Vaz called for students to be removed from immigration statistics, saying the row over student visas was leading to would-be applicants snubbing UK universities.

‘There has been a 40 per cent reduction in applications from India and if that starts it is very difficult to recover once people believe they can’t come and study in our country,’ said Mr Vaz.

‘Students should not be part of these figures. The reason they are not migrants is that they come to study, they don’t come to settle.’

Meanwhile, Labour’s David Blunkett, a former home and education secretary, accused Britons of disliking foreigners.

Speaking in the debate, he said: ‘Everyone pays lip service to the importance of legitimate students coming here, and then you hear a different nuance which is ‘but they are foreigners’ – and it’s quite dangerous because our electorate don’t really like foreigners.’

He went onto highlight the benefit to Britain’s worldwide reputation of welcoming foreign students.

‘The economic value to this country is not just the money that comes into the university or the local community,’ said Mr Blunkett.

‘It’s the way in which those who have benefited from both the study and the experience in our country add to our potential economic value in years to come as they become advocates for Britain, as they become part of global institutions and enterprises.’

Students worth £40 billion to UK economy

The debate was led by Labour’s Paul Blomfield (Sheffield Central) who told MPs educating foreign students was a major export.

‘The UK has a worldwide reputation for providing quality education to overseas students and Britain is rightly the destination of choice for many people wishing to study abroad,’ said Mr Blomfield.

He said estimates showed foreign students were worth £40 billion to the British economy, supporting jobs and businesses.

‘It’s a growing market and one in which we have been increasingly successful,’ said Mr Blomfield.

‘I don’t believe the Government are deliberately seeking to damage the economy through these measures, but by their own assessment that will be the effect.’

Conservative Stewart Jackson (Peterborough) said voters wanted the Government to bring immigration under control, which included cutting foreign student numbers.

He said: ‘This must be seen in the context of a commitment this Government has to reduce net immigration to this country.

‘It is a policy position which is supported by a substantial majority of the British electorate.’

But he added: ‘None of us is in any doubt that we live in the age of globalisation and we must be competitive.

‘We all understand that is based in the higher education sector on reputation, kudos and prestige. I truly believe this Government would not undertake proposals in a hasty way which would damage that reputation.’ Source: Daily Mail.

Earlier this week the UK Border Agency published the latest set of changes to the Immigration Rules, affecting Tier 4 students, which were laid in Parliament. The new restrictions, which will mainly hit private colleges, will come into effect on 4 July 2011.

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 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

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

If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: 

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

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9 Responses to “Students are not migrants says MP Keith Vaz”
Read them below or add one

  1. I am very much agree with these. You are absolutely right!

  2. […] Students are not migrants says MP Keith Vaz […]

  3. […] Students are not migrants says MP Keith Vaz […]

  4. Most of the students perfer for higher study in Australia,Canada, Newzealand, Germany rather than tight policy in UK. Life in UK is going recession day by day. Job axes is every where. Most of British national are working in Middle East Australia, Europe and USA. They have better life than UK.

  5. […] Students are not migrants says MP Keith Vaz […]

  6. Angel Mirza says :

    I don’t understand why UK is refusing to earn money from legitimate foreign students? Foreign money coming in is a welcome incentives when our economy is down. It further states in your report that some constituents are not in favour of foreign students but we tend to forget that they are bringing in much needed money from the businesses that thrives in these college/university cities. Be practical! You rather bring in people who are spongers and lazy? Waiting for the government’s dole out? Pardon me I am a migrant myself but has never been a burden to this country in fact the thousands of money as tax I pay every year helps people who are too lazy to work who wants to get drunk and high on drugs, get pregnant and have loads of children so they can get into the cue of housing benefits! Pathetic!

  7. […] Students are not migrants says MP Keith Vaz […]

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