To curb immigration, the UK is cracking down on student visas

To curb immigration, the UK is cracking down on student visas

Struggling to deliver on its promise to reduce immigration yet Britain’s exit from the European UnionOn Tuesday, the British government announced its intention to significantly restrict family reunification for international students.

the United kingdom It already recorded a record net migration of half a million people between June 2021 and June 2022 and new figures expected this week are expected to confirm this trend, an embarrassment for the Conservative CEO led by Rishi Sunak. This topic is even more sensitive because the very right-wing Home Secretary, Soella Braverman, is currently weakened by her speeding ticket administration.

Significantly reduce the “carry over balance”

while prestigious universities The government said in a statement that the new restrictions on student visas would attract many foreigners and would “significantly reduce net migration by limiting the possibility of foreign students to bring their family members”.

These measures, which will take effect in January, concern all students “with the exception of postgraduate researchers”. In addition, international students will no longer be able to convert from a student visa to a work visa before completing their studies. The government vows to act against “unscrupulous agents” who use student visas as a route to immigration.

“fair balance”

In 2022, about 136,000 visa They were issued to the dependents of foreign students, up from 16,000 in 2019, according to government figures. “We have seen an unprecedented increase in the number of student dependents arriving in the country on visas,” Soella Braverman noted, in the press release.

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The minister believed that the new measures represented a “fair balance” and would allow “in the medium term” to restore the migration balance to the pre-Covid level.

“they are treated with contempt”

Reactions have been strong from universities who fear exorbitant fee-paying foreigners will lose a vital source of income and part of their appeal on the world stage.

The Russell Group representing the most prestigious institutions such as Oxford or Cambridge, expressed concern about the measures that will affect efforts to “diversify international employment.” “Those who choose to study in the UK, no matter where they come from, bring tremendous value to our society and deserve to live alongside their loved ones while they study,” said Joe Grady, general secretary of the UCLA Higher Education Consortium. Instead, they are treated with contempt.

“Stop the boats”

The issue of controlling immigration dominated discussions during the 2016 campaign that led to the UK leaving the European Union.European Union. But the Conservative government has since failed to topple it immigration Legal and illegal, despite the promise of regaining control of the borders.

In 2022, more than 45,000 migrants, a record number, will cross the English Channel illegally. ‘Stopping the boats’ is one of Rishi Sunak’s five priorities. The government wants to send to third countries such as Rwanda Asylum seekers who arrived illegally. But this project, which has been challenged in court, is at an impasse.

deficiency in the arm

At the same time, since Brexit, the UK has faced labor shortages, particularly in agriculture and health, which has led to regular tensions within the majority. first Minister Rishi Sunak He recently admitted that he would have to grant tens of thousands of seasonal agricultural visas, and he seemed to be at odds with his home secretary. The latter stepped in at a very conservative conference to declare that he saw “no good reason why the UK should not be able to train lorry drivers and fruit pickers to curb immigration”.

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Amid political tensions, Soella Braverman has come under attack since it emerged in the press over the weekend that she had asked officials to help her get preferential treatment after speeding last summer, in the form of a private awareness course. His application was turned down but Rishi Sunak said he consulted his ethics adviser, Lowry Magnus, to decide what to pursue for what the opposition denounces as a breach of ministerial law.

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