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Immigration Minister’s response to Student Visas report

Immigration Minister’s response to Student Visas report

Chris Bowen MP, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, has published a response from the Government to the recent Student Visas Report. 

The response acknowledges the vital contribution international students make to the UK’s economy but argues that the old student visa system was failing to control student immigration adequately. 

Mr Bowen says in the letter: “This [government proposal] is a radical set of reforms, bringing change to almost all aspects of the system, including accreditation requirements, standards of English required, working rights, dependent sponsorship and post-study work. We have published a detailed description of these proposals in a Statement of Intent. 

“We want to ensure students come for a limited period and to study not to work. These measures form an important part of the Government's comprehensive action across all immigration routes to achieve our goals for better migration, properly controlled. 

“This includes the new permanent limit on non-EU economic migrants which came into force on 6 April and planned consultations for later this year that will cover breaking the automatic link between work and settlement and the family route, ensuring that family migration is fair for both applicants and local communities.” 

Mr Bowen also addressed concerns expressed in the Student Visas Report about the possible damage to the pool of skilled workers in the UK that reductions in immigration might bring. 

He said: “This consideration was made very clear in the announcement and our reforms focus on protecting universities and the students they have told us are the most valuable to them.” 

Posted by Jacqui Fox

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