New UK Visa rule changes to help students


The changes brought about in the UK visa norms will ensure that only quality students will get admitted to the educational institutions in the United Kingdom. The new rules that are introduced will toughen the admission standards and the post study work. Restrictions will be imposed on work placements on courses offered by sponsors other that university sponsors.

Restrictions in student visas

In addition to putting an end to the present system which allows the students to pursue jobs of any level including unskilled work or no job at all for two years, the new visa rules contains provision of work for students from publicly funded institutions alone. This privilege will not be available for the remaining students.

B2 Proficiency required for students at degree level and higher

A major change in terms of the English language is that, if a student wishes to study at the degree level or above in a higher education institution, he or she should meet the upper intermediate level (B2) of proficiency. Earlier students were required to meet B1 level of proficiency to secure admission in a higher education institution. In the case of students who wish to secure admission in high school level, they should meet the B1 proficiency level.

Standards for sponsors tightened

Another change is with the requirements of the sponsors. The inspection requirement of the sponsors has been tightened, which ensures that only quality education providers will be able to sponsor international students.

Restriction on working after studies

In addition to this, they have placed restriction on the students to work after their studies. Earlier students were issued with post study work visa, which enabled foreign students to work in UK for a period of two years after the completion of their course from any of the institutes in the UK. Now students who wish to stay and work in the UK after their course will have to apply through the skilled visa route. According to the home officials, new time limits will be set for the student visas, tougher rules will be in place on work placements.

450 institutes barred

The home office has announced that about 11,000 non European Union students could not secure admission in institutes in the UK this year. This is as a result of barring about 450 institutions from sponsoring and admitting non European Union students since they did not meet the requirements of the new inspection standards.

A lot many institutions were running immigration service to foreign students rather than providing education. The consequence was that more foreign students came to the UK with the aim of working and bringing over their family members. Now license to sponsor foreign students will be given to only first class education institutions.

To prevent abuse of student visas and help quality students

The newly introduced changes will put restrictions on the opportunities to work during study and to bring family members during the same period. The main objective of the changes is to prevent abuse of thestudent visa. The move is not intended to prevent genuine high quality students from seeking admission to quality education providers in the UK. It is aimed at supporting quality institutions and encouraging quality students.

India students top in the list

India has been in the top of the list as far as the number of students who seeks admission in various institutions in the UK is concerned. In the year 2008, about 27,000 student visas were issued to Indian students. In 2009, the number increased to 57,000, but soon declined to 41,500 in 2010. With the new rules in place, the number is expected to decline further.

Students are expected to investigate before they apply

In order to verify the authenticity of the institutions, the students need to do home work and investigate the credibility of the institutions and the courses they offer. The students can contact the institutions directly and can get information on the education in the United Kingdom from the British Council in India. The list of education sponsors who are registered and those who come under the ‘Highly Trusted Sponsor’ category is published by the UK Border Agency and is updated frequently. This helps the foreign students in choosing an authentic institute. Students should make sure that the selected institute is in the list of the registered education providers before they apply for admission.

New set of changes expected to be introduced in April 2012

A new set of changes is expected to be introduced in April 2012. It will cover restrictions on work placements, but not for higher education students. The time a degree student can spend in the UK with the student visa will be limited to 5 years. Exceptions will be given to students who pursue courses such as medicine. In the case of Ph.D. there will be no restriction for the time they can spend in the UK with the student visa. But if the student has spent 8 years on the student visa at the period of completion of the course, they won’t be issued with another student visa. Earlier the students were allowed to stay over for a period of 2 years after the course to look for employment. The new rule proposes that only graduates who get a job offer before the expiry of the student visa will be permitted to stay back to work. It is said that would be entrepreneurs who are talented will be permitted to stay, but more information on this is not available at this point of time.

It is also said that the financing norms for the students will also be tightened. Student applications with statements from banks which the officials consider are not trustworthy in terms of verifying the statement will be rejected.  The list of local banks that are considered competent will be published by the Home office.

The new rules in the student visa issue will ensure that only quality students who are motivated by quality education in the United Kingdom will have an opportunity to pursue education in various institutions across the UK.



Do you have any question? Please ask:

Questions will be answered on our Forum section