Immigration Minister Confirms Government Will Look At All Immigration Routes Into The UK And Set New Rules

Mr Green and many within the Government believe that on its own the annual limit on workers from outside the European Union (the Immigration Cap) will not be enough to reduce net migration levels to tens of thousands per year. Many now believe the Government will clamp down on Tier 4 (Student Visas) following the announcement yesterday that 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’.

Speaking yesterday Mr Green said that \”We need steady downward pressure on many routes to long-term immigration in order to hit our net migration commitment. The restriction will relieve pressure on public services, and stop immigration being such a delicate political issue.”

Student Visa Route to be Revised

Recently Mr Green 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.\”

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