20% of International Students remain in the UK after their initial visa has expired, according to a new Home Office report titled “A Migrant’s Journey” which has been published today. Out of the 186,000 students who arrived in the United Kingdom in 2004 almost 40,000 remained in Britain by 2009 with the Home Office saying migrants were going on to further study, work or had been granted leave due to family reasons.
The news is sure to place the Post Study Work category of Tier 1 in the spotlight with many predicting that the scheme will be severely restricted following a Government review currently taking place. Formerly the Science & Engineering Scheme (SEGS), and then the International Graduate Scheme (IGS), the Tier 1 Post Study Work category was opened up in 2008 to allow almost any graduate of a UK academic institution to qualify. Many predict the scheme will be restricted once more so that only the most in demand graduates are offered the chance to remain in the UK to build a career.
Damian Green, the Immigration Minister, said that “The limits we’ve already set among those on work visas are necessary but not sufficient. We need to look at other routes. We can see that 186,000 international students came to the UK in 2004 and by 2009 more than 20% of them were still here. Student numbers have risen fast. In the year to June 2010, 300,000 visas were issued to students and their dependents. If a fifth of those are still here in five years’ time, they are very high numbers.”
Mr Green also said that “half of all International students do not fit with everyone’s image of the hard-working student in higher education. People think that they are the very brightest and the best, but we have discovered that only half are studying degree-level courses. Half are coming to study sub-degree courses. There are questions to be asked about whether the student route is just for the brightest and the best and whether this is the best use of our training system.”
Following the announcement Hina Majid, the Policy Director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants said that “Reducing opportunities for international study in the UK at a point in time when the current government is proposing to slash public expenditure on education, and kick-start a recovery fuelled by the private sector could have serious implications for many public and private educational establishments in the United Kingdom.”
Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).
To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you.. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.