UK to go tough on student visa


Himalayan News Service

The British Home Minister Theresa May has announced major overhaul of student visa system, the British Embassy in Kathmandu said on Wednesday.

The Embassy said that the main changes include tougher rules for sponsoring education institutions, higher English proficiency, stricter provision for right to work and accompanying dependents and limitation for overall period of student visa. 

The announcement followed a major public consultation after a ministry review revealed widespread abuse of student visas.

According to changes, poor quality colleges who fails to get accreditation as the highly trusted sponsors will not be able to become sponsors.

“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,” the ministry said in a release.

Also changes state that students at universities and publicly funded further education colleges will retain their current work rights, but all other students will have no right to work.

“Only postgraduate students at universities and government-sponsored students will be able to bring their dependants,” it further added.

“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,” Minister May said while making the announcement. “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.”

She further added that the aim is not to stop genuine students but to eliminate abuse.


The main changes in the visa rules are as follows:

Tougher rules for UK education institutions wanting to be sponsors.

Those coming to study at degree level will have to speak a higher level of English than before.

Only students at universities and publicly-funded further education colleges will retain the right to work.

Only government-sponsored students, and certain postgraduate students, will be able to bring their dependants

There will be a limit on the overall time that can be spent on a student visa in the UK.

Graduates can still work, but will now have to secure a skilled job with a Tier 2 sponsor.

(Source: Republica Nepal and Kathmandu Post)