London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) July 06, 2011 -- The changes in the UK Immigration system will significantly affect a large number of overseas visitors in the United Kingdom. UK Home Secretary Theresa May announced that the changes includes tougher entrance criteria, limits on work entitlements and the closure of the post-study work route in the student visa system.
The announcement follows a major public consultation on reforming Tier 4 of the points-based system, after a Home Office review revealed widespread abuse.
The main changes are as follows:
- Students coming to study at degree level will need to speak English at an 'upper intermediate' (B2) level, rather than the current 'lower intermediate' (B1) requirement.
- All other students will have no right to work. We will place restrictions on work placements in courses outside universities.
- Only postgraduate students at universities and government-sponsored students will be able to bring their dependants.
- We will limit the overall time that can be spent on a student visa to 3 years at lower levels (as it is now) and 5 years at higher levels.
- We will close the Tier 1 (Post-study work) route, which allows students 2 years to seek employment after their course ends.
The Home Secretary said:International students not only make a vital contribution to the UK economy but they also help make our education system one of the best in the world. But it has become very apparent that the old student visa regime failed to control immigration and failed to protect legitimate students from poor-quality colleges. The changes I am announcing today re-focus the student route as a temporary one, available to only the brightest and best. The new system is designed to ensure students come for a limited period, to study, not work, and make a positive contribution while they are here.
Further changes in Immigration rules states that migrants coming to the UK to work on temporary visas will no longer be able to apply for settlement, under proposals announced by the government recently.
The government is implementing reforms to the immigration system which will reduce the level of immigration to sustainable levels.
Immigration Minister Damian Green set out plans to re-classify visas as either 'temporary' or 'permanent' and introduce stricter criteria for those who want to stay.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said:
'The proposals are aimed at breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration. Settlement has become almost automatic for those who choose to stay. This needs to change. The immigration system has got to be made to work properly. We want the brightest and best workers to come to the UK, make a strong contribution to our economy while they are here, and then return home.'
Key proposals are as follows:
- re-branding Tier 2 (the skilled worker route) as temporary, ending the assumption that settlement will be available for those who enter on this route;
- allowing certain categories of Tier 2 migrant, for example those earning over £150,000 or occupations of a specific economic or social value to the UK, to retain an automatic route to settlement;
- allowing Tier 2 migrants who do not switch into a settlement route to stay for a maximum of five years with the expectation that they and any dependants will leave at the end of that time;
- introducing an English language requirement for adult dependants of Tier 2 migrants applying to switch into a route to settlement;
- restricting the maximum period of leave for Tier 5 Temporary Workers to 12 months; and
- closing routes for overseas domestic workers.
Damian Green added:
'A small number of exceptional migrants will be able to stay permanently but for the majority, coming here to work will not lead automatically to settlement in the UK.'
The Government has committed to reforming all routes of entry to the UK in order to bring immigration levels under control.
Most visa categories will be classified as either "Temporary" or Permanent".
Visas classified as "Temporary Visas" will not be able to settle permanently in the UK.
Visas classified as "Temporary Visas" will be allowed to stay for a maximum of five (5) years after which holders are expected to leave
Overseas Domestic Workers visa will stop and be closed
A higher English language requirement will be implemented
Students will be highly restricted in their right to work. Majority of students will not be allowed to work. Only students at higher education and in universities will be allowed to work but on a limited basis.
Only Post-Graduate Students and Government sponsored students at Universities will be allowed to bring their dependants
All student visas will be limited to 3-years (5-years for higher level of education) and students are expected to leave.
Current immigration rules also states that changing from one visa category to another is not allowed (i.e. student visa to work permit or residence permit). Application for visa changes are done in the country or port of origin and is often not allowed in-country in the UK.
Please disseminate to all concerned so that our kababayans will be informed and made aware. One of the ways we can help prevent illegal and misleading recruitment practices is to make the applicants aware of current rules and regulations.
President, PNA UK
06th July 2011