Changes in UK law concerning student visas recently went into effect in that country. The new law, which became effective on April 6, 2012 places new limitations on foreign students once they have graduated from college. Since many students will soon complete their studies in the United Kingdom, it is important for those holding a student visa to know the particulars of this new law so they will be prepared once they are no longer attending college.
Under the old law, UK college graduates holding a student visa did not have to leave the country shortly thereafter. This is because the law allowed them to remain and work in the country for up to two years after completing their studies. There was no restriction on the type of employment recent graduates were required to hold in order to be eligible.
This provision, known as the Post Study Work Route, is no longer in effect. Consequently, those who wish to remain in the UK after college graduation must now apply for a position with an agency listed as a Tier 2 sponsor with the United Kingdom Border Agency. In addition to placing restrictions on where recent graduates may apply for work, there are minimum salary requirements as well. As such, the minimum salary requirements for a Tier 2 position must be at least €20,000. An exception to this is if the minimum salary listed in that occupation’s Code of Practice is below €20,000, in which case that figure is used instead.
A high number of forgeries among UK student visas may have led to the new law being passed. In 2010, an investigation into student visa applications in New Delhi, India revealed some startling statistics. It seems that there were over 6,300 forgeries originating in that office according to the National Audit Office. This was a dramatic increase from 2,153 instances in 2008 according to the report.
As a result of the increase in student visa forgeries, the UK Border Agency placed a halt on Tier 4 student applications from three different countries. Students from North India, Bangladesh, and Nepal were preventing from entering the United Kingdom to pursue their educational interests while a deeper investigation was held.
This investigation also revealed instances of fraud in several other areas. Cities that were found to have the highest number of forgeries among student visa applications included Islamabad, Pakistan; Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Chennai, India.
Since there are high numbers of India nationals who currently hold student visas in the UK, many residents there are wondering how the new law will affect these individuals. It is uncertain how the new law will be enforced or what the repercussions for finding employment with a non-Tier 2 employer might be. For now, the UK Border Agency has decided there will be no further investigation into the alleged student visa fraud that was uncovered only a short time ago. Whether the new law helps to remove those who entered the UK fraudulently is something that only time will eventually tell.
Contact us for more information about passports and student visas in the United Kingdom.
POSTED IN UK VISAS