The Universities UK action group has found that government curbs on overseas students has resulted in reduced numbers which has damaged the reputation of UK universities.
Academics are reporting more than 1,500 foreign students a month to immigration officials over suspicions about their UK visa status, figures show.
Source: BBC News
MPs have accused the government of rushing plans to curb student visas. It has been estimated that the total cost of cutting student numbers could be £3.5bn and MPs have expressed concerns for the potential economic costs.
Source: BBC News
According to the Home Office’s own figures, government cuts to the number of overseas students in the UK are going to cost the economy £2.4bn. The policy is part of a further crackdown on migration.
A survey of overseas travel companies has rated the UK top in terms of lost income due to abandoned visa applications. The European Tour Operators Association claims the UK system is ‘arrogant and slightly racist’.
Source: Travel Weekly
Migration campaigners have condemned a law that will require non-EU citizens entering the UK on spousal visas to pass an English language test. As the law came into force yesterday (29 November), protesters marched from Victoria Street in Westminster to the Home Office.
The Immigration Minister, Damian Green, said that the new rules “will help ensure that migrant spouses are able to participate in British life from the outset and integrate more easily into our society”.
But groups supporting migrant rights are concerned that the law will unfairly impede those who have no access to English lessons in their country of origin, or cannot afford them.
The demonstration was called by the group No One is Illegal, with the support of the London No Borders campaign, who commented, “This law will affect those from areas of the world where English classes are not available, or who can’t afford to pay for such classes. It extends the reach of the UK Border Agency to spouses’ countries of origin.”
At the Home Office, protesters handed out leaflets to passers-by and re-created a UK border on the pavement. They held warning tape between them and asked members of the public to take an English language or citizenship test to pass through. Other protesters dressed as a bride and groom to represent couples who will be separated because of the new law.
Protesters described the legislation as a “racist law”, as it affects only those coming from non-EU countries, and expressed concern about the implications for migrant women, as it is they who more often arrive in the UK on spousal visas.
The law was initially proposed two years ago by Labour ministers, but has been implemented by the current government amid pledges to significantly reduce the number of immigrants to the UK.
29 November 2010
A demonstration to oppose the introduction of pre-entry English language tests for people coming to the UK on spousal visas.
* Monday 29 November 2010, 1-2pm
* Assemble outside Topshop on Victoria Street, London SW1E 5JL
Called by No-One is Illegal ( http://www.noii.org.uk/).
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The UK Border Agency has been warned that it may be unlawfully discriminating against Pakistanis by demanding much more documentation before granting visas. The government is now considering a ‘risk-based approach’ to visa processing.
By Mark Easton
David Cameron today demanded that officials make it easier for foreigners to get visas to come to Britain. This, of course, is the same David Cameron who recently demanded that officials make it more difficult for foreigners to get visas to come to Britain.
It all depends on the kind of visa and the kind of foreigner.
The so-called immigration cap announced in June is aimed at reducing the number of foreigners being given work visas.
Today’s announcement is about increasing the number of foreigners being given tourist visas. The word the government wants to send out is that Britain welcomes visitors who come to spend but not migrants who come to work.
The problem is that it is a mixed message and, as the prime minister said in his speech on boosting our tourism industry this morning, “it’s a question of perception”.