UK Government Considering Student Visa Crackdown

By Fiona Moore, for 24 December, 2014

A UK visa rule that currently allows overseas students to switch to a work visa following graduation may be scrapped.

A source told the media that Theresa May, the UK's Home Secretary, wants the measure included in the Conservative Party's manifesto ahead of national elections next year. May is said to want to "move towards zero net student migration."

Further, universities and colleges with large numbers of non-European Union (EU) students who fail to leave the country after graduation would be stripped of the right to sponsor student visas.

Currently, non-EU students who graduate in the UK can apply for a work visa up to four months after the end of their course. The change would force graduates to instead leave the country and apply from abroad.

The news comes despite calls to make it easier for graduates to remain in the UK. In October, Nicola Dandridge, the CEO of Universities UK (UUK), told delegates to the Conservative Party annual conference that UK higher education risked losing out to Australia and Canada due to those countries' "ambitious and aggressive higher education expansion strategies" that she said were "backed by progressive immigration policies."

In August, a UUK-commissioned survey showed public support for international students remaining in the UK, with 81 percent of Conservative Party voters in favor.

Tags: Expat Groups | United Kingdom | Education | Expats | Visas And Passports | Working Abroad | Work | Working Abroad | Education | Working Abroad |


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