UK Tightening Immigration Rules

By Fiona Moore, for 01 August, 2014

The British Government is introducing tougher rules for universities and colleges that sponsor international students to study in the UK, as well as tighter limits on benefits for job seekers from other European Union countries.

From November, educational institutions will lose their highly trusted sponsor status if ten percent or more of the individuals offered places are refused visas, down from 20 percent currently. The three months leading up to the change will be a transitional period, during which colleges and universities will be able to re-examine their admissions procedures.

At the same time, European nationals will be able to access Jobseeker's Allowance and other key welfare benefits for just three months, rather than six, upon arrival in the UK. This follows an earlier change that introduced a minimum three-month delay to claiming benefits. In cases where an EU national claims an entitlement due to being in work or having recently been working, a new Minimum Earnings Threshold of GBP153 (USD258) per week must be satisfied.

Announcing the measures, Prime Minister David Cameron said that the immigration system should put Britain first. He said the Government has clamped down on abuse and is "making sure the right people are coming here for the right reasons."

The restrictions were unveiled as the UK Immigration Act 2014 begins to come into force. The new legislation makes it easier to deport convicted criminals, and limits the use of the "right to family life" provision of the European Convention on Human Rights. It also introduces new powers to revoke the driving licenses of illegal immigrants.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, said that the Government is "building an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants, but tough on those who abuse it or flout the law."

The government is also launching a consultation on banning overseas-only job advertising.

Tags: Individuals | Law | United Kingdom | Education | Legislation | Expats | Immigration | Europe | Immigration |


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