In The Spotlight
There are many changes affecting International Students studying or wishing to study in the UK.
If you are applying under a Tier 4 (student visa) this November you will need to show you have enough fees to support your cost of living (maintenance fund). The maintenance fund requirement has increased. If you make your Tier 4 application on or after 12 November 2015 for a course of over nine months, the amount you need to show will be at least £11,385 if you are studying in London and £9,135 if you are studying elsewhere in the UK. For shorter courses, the amount to show will have to be £1,265 a month if studying at a London-based institution and £1,015 a month for institutions outside London.
This needs to be a cash deposit as overdraft facilities will not be accepted
The level of funds for dependants will also increase to £845 per month if in London and £680 per month elsewhere in the UK for up to a maximum of nine months.
These rules will apply to international students extending their stay or those coming for the first time.
Study visas at the Further Education level will be cut from three years to two and you will have to apply from outside the UK to make an extension or to apply for a work visa.
Shortage Occupation List
Four jobs in the digital technology sector (product manager, data scientist, senior developer and cyber security specialist) are being added to the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), alongside nursing.
English Language Requirements
With regards to Indefinite Leave and Naturalisation applicants, English language requirements will have to match those of other types of immigration applications. This means applicants will need to take tougher UK immigration English language tests called Secure English Language Tests and other English language qualifications will not be accepted. This will affect applications made on or after 19th November 2015.
The Immigration Bill 2015 being proposed by government and presented to Parliament is now available to view.
It lays out the expansion of powers to a large number of immigration officials and makes it easier to remove people. It includes a crackdown on illegal immigration, removing protections of migrant workers and affects UK bank accounts, driving licences and rental accommodation.
There is a a second reading of the bill on 13th October where it will be debated in the House of Commons.
Due to new Home Office measures, cracking down on study visa extensions, study related extensions fell by more than a quarter in the year ending March 2015 even though they still amounted to 84% of the extensions granted to students. The amount of refusals for study related extensions rose by 29% and there were less Institution-sponsored applications due to fewer applications for study in further education.
The amount of work visas given to students however, are on the rise. Tier 2 skilled worker visas were up by a third when compared to 2013, with over 5000 visas being granted to students with UK job offers. Additionally, graduate entrepreneurship and internship visas increased by 13% in 2014.
This week, further restrictions on study related extensions under Tier 4 have been announced by the government, an example being that from August 2015 university students wishing to study a new course at the same level can only do so if it is connected to their previous course or the university confirms it supports their career.
An ‘important information’ leaflet providing essential guidance on protecting passports from traffickers will be issued to all new British passport holders from March.
17th February 2015: New amendments to the Modern Slavery Bill will ensure that victims of modern slavery receive the best possible support and protection, Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime, Karen Bradley has said.
13th February 2015: All front line professionals in the UK will have a mandatory duty to report suspected cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Home Office will “no longer overlook lengthy periods of unlawful residence” while processing British citizenship applications,” Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said.
Home Secretary Theresa May has unveiled a new domestic abuse offence of coercive and controlling behaviour within relationships.
, is for the first time ever, in the UK at Tobacco Dock, London on May 15th-17th 2015.
With over 150 exhibitors over the course of three days, the pioneering FestivalAsia will incorporate Asian food, fashion, spirituality, art, music, performance, culture, artefacts, massage stalls, yoga vendors, henna artists, clothes, spices, meditation rooms, and even speed-dating!
16th February 2015: We’d like to appeal to all our readers to help trace a 14-year-old girl with learning difficulties who went missing from Mill Hill.
10th February 2015: More than 400 people attended the third annual British Muslim Awards in Worcestershire. The ceremony was presented by award winning TV chef, Ajmal Mushtaq and featured a special performance from UK’s funniest Asian comedian, Mani Laiqat and artist Naseem Khan.
23rd January 2015: Zahida Ali, a 29-year-old girl has gone missing from East Ham. She was last seen on 19th January 2015 at around 11:00 at her family's address in Plaistow.
The Evelyn Oldfield Unit, a London-based support group is looking for volunteers on the innovative e3 English Language project.