Thursday, 24 March 2011

Additional Changes to Tier 4 Policy - UK Student Visa

The new policies announced this week claim at keeping genuine Foreign Students considering the UK as a top international study destination while making it more difficult for students to abuse the immigration system in the UK.

Time Allowed in the UK on a Student Visa

The maximum time for foreign students in the UK studying at NQF 3-5 will be set at 3 years while those students at NQF level 6-7 will be 5 years.

In the situation where a student needs an extension but is not moving to the next NQF level then the UK Sponsoring Institution will have to confirm the academic progression.

International PHD students and cases where there is a need for professional qualification can stay longer than 5 years.

UK Budget 2011 Video

More on UK Student Visa Policy Changes 2011/2

Another major policy change announced this week by the UK Govt was the closure of the Post Study Work Visa .

The closure date is set for April 2012.

Other main points confirmed this week:

International Graduates from UK Universities with a recognized degree will be allowed to switch into Tier 2 Sponsored Employment and there will not be limit placed on the numbers of Graduates switching into Tier2.

only graduates that switch into Tier 2 inside the United Kingdom and before their current tier 4 Student Visa Leave Expires.

Regular Tier 2 rules will apply in terms of requirements besides for the Resident Labour Market Test.

Foreign Graduates/Students with good entrepreneurial ideas will receive more support from the UK Govt and could be allowed to stay in the UK to develop the business or idea.

New Tier 4 UK Student Visa Rules Explained

Following the announcement of the changes to the Tier 4 UK Student Visas by the Home Secretary earlier this week I thought I would provide some more details into some of the points outlined.

English Language Level

Anyone coming to study in the UK at undergraduate level will need to achieve level B2 in each of the four language areas.

Anyone looking to study at lower level courses will need to achieve level B1

Anyone intending to study outside of Universities will need to supply a test certificate from an independent English test provider confirming that they have achieved this level. Universities will be allowed to vouch for a student English ability if the student is looking to study at degree level or above.

Border Agency Officers will now be able to refuse an applicant/migrant who can not speak English without an interpreter present.

Financial Evidence for Student Applications

The new policy in the maintenance/financial evidence requirements states that all applicants are to sign a new declaration that the funds used in the visa application to show the maintenance are genuinely available for use in coming to study in the UK.

The UKBA will refuse student visa applications where the bank statements used cannot be verified, A list of local banks in each country will be established and published shortly.

A quicker process for student applications will be introduced for foreign students looking to study at Highly Trusted Sponsors aiming at not needing to supply more documentation than the CAS and Passport.

Work Allowances for Foreign Students

International students at recognized institutions (Universities) will keep their permission to work 20 hours a week part time and to do placements where the ratio from work to study is 50/50.

Students studying at publicly funded FE colleges will still be able to work 10 hours a week in apart time capacity.

All other students will not have a right to work part time and work placements will need to be in the ratio of 66/33 study/work.

Tier 4 Student Dependents Rules

In order to bring a dependent into the UK the student will need to be on a postgraduate course (NQF Level 7 and higher) at a UK University which is more than 12 months in duration or a Govt Sponsored Student.

All dependents should be able to work in the UK.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

UK Student Visa Changes Confirmed

Once again the UK Govt has announced major changes set to affect the Tier 4 Student Visa making it more difficult by toughening the entry criteria, limiting work entitlements and closing the Post Study Work Visa option are some of the steps mentioned.

It had been reported that many so called students were essentially abusing the immigration system and up to 26% of these students studying at private institutions could not be accounted for.

Other changes confirmed:

Students looking to study in the UK will have to possess a higher level of English (upper intermediate B2) instead of the current B1 level (lower intermediate)

The Govt is limiting the time a student can spend in the UK to 3 years at lower levels and 5 years at higher levels.

Dependents of Postgraduate Students at Universities and dependents of govt sponsored students will only be allowed to stay in the UK.

The Post Study Work Visa will be closed and only graduates with a firm job offer from a Tier 2 Sponsoring employer will be allowed to stay in the UK.

Only students at UK Universities and Govt Sponsored Colleges will retain their right to work in the UK and all other students studying at lower courses will loose their right to work while studying in the UK.

You can read more on the Tier 4 report from the UKBA here

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

NHS Debtors Consultation

The Department of Health and the UKBA recently conducted some consultations to review migrant's access to the NHS.

As a result of the consultation the UKBA will implement some new changes to the Immigration Rules later this year in October 2011.

Basically the rule states that anyone who fail to pay their discharge debts to the NHS in excess of 1000 GBP will under normal circumstances be refused permission to enter or remain in the United Kingdom.

The NHS will provide detailed information to the UKBA to enable them to identify debtors but no medical information will be shared.

For the full report on the consultation you may either check out the Department of Health Web Site or may you may view the report HERE

Royal Mail to cut 3,400 jobs

Thursday, 17 March 2011

UK Student Visa Scam Video

Quicker Settlement for Tier 1 Entrepreneurs and Investors

Yesterday it was confirmed the foreign entrepreneurs and investors that contribute to the UK's Economic Growth will be given an extra motivation to come to the UK by reducing the time it takes to settle in the UK.

Those foreigners looking to come to the UK under Tier1 Entrepreneur or Tier 1 Investor will be allowed to settle in the UK faster provided they have invested large sums of money in the UK.

People who invest 5 million pounds will be allowed to settle after 3 years and people investing 10 million pounds or more will be allowed to settle after only 2 years compared with the current 5 year settlement requirement.

These new rules will apply to new investors and those already in the UK, as well as the rules set out above Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrants will also be allowed to settle faster if they create 10 jobs or turn over 5 million in a 3 year period.

Also the new Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) will be running from April 2011, this category is meant for recognized or potentially recognized leaders in the fields of arts, humanities and sciences.

There are only 1000 of these visas available per year and applicants do not need sponsorship or employment but will need to be endorsed by an accredited body. These bodies will be announced in the near future so check back for a full list soon.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Food Prices in the UK leading to social unrest?

Ex Lib Dem Candidate in Fees Scandal

UK Govt confirms removal of 8 occupations from shortage Occupation List

The Govt has confirmed that 8 occupations will be removed from the current shortage occupation list.

Once these 8 occupations are removed from the list the Govt reports that the number of positions available to foreign workers in the UK will be reduced from 500,000 to about 230,000.

In addition to this announcement the UK govt also confirmed that they will be removing 71 professions from the current approved list of 192 jobs under the Tier 2 Visa Category as they have found these to be below graduate level.

The Migration Advisory committee has reported that of the 8,400 certificates of sponsorship issued to foreign workers in 2010 65 % of these would not have qualified with the new rules coming in April.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

UK Worker Registration Closing

UK Immigration Minister Damian Green confirmed that the Worker Registration Scheme will be closing on the 30 April 2011.

The Worker Registration Scheme is a transitional arrangement introduced in 2004 when the A8 (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) joined the European Union.

This Scheme enables the UK Border Agency to monitor: the the UK Labour Market, type of employment these people are undertaking and the total impact these people are making on the UK economy.

With the closure of the Worker Registration Scheme A8 Nationals will have full access to the UK Labour Market with the same conditions as other EU nationals from 1 May 2011.

A8 nationals looking to work in the UK will also receive the same entitlements to out of work benefits as other non A8 nationals.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Higher Skills Levels for UK Shortage Occupation List

8 new job titles were recommended to be removed from the UK Shortage Occupation List by the Migration Advisory Committee.

MAC have already suggested that 71 occupations be removed from the qualifying list for Tier 2 . These steps are set to comply with the Govt's aim of raising the level required to NQF 4 and above.

MAC has suggested removing more job titles including skilled meat trimmers, skilled meat boners, high integrity pipe welders and senior care workers HOWEVER care home managers and nurses working in care homes will not be affected as these jobs are already at NQF Level 4.

MAC also confirmed that fewer number of chefs are skilled to NQF level 4 and above and made further recommendations that only those chef positions requiring a 5 year relevant experience period and a salary of 28,260 GBP annually.