Year after new norms, fewer takers for UK student visas | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Year after new norms, fewer takers for UK student visas

A year after the UK government changed its visa norms for students — cancelling the post-study two-year work visa, raising English language requirements, barring certain institutions, and refusing to accept bank statements from nearly 1,900 banks — the number of student visas issued to Indians fell, from 44,300 in 2010 to 31,000 in 2011. Bhavya Dore reports.

mumbai Updated: Apr 08, 2012 01:22 IST
Bhavya Dore

A year after the UK government changed its visa norms for students — cancelling the post-study two-year work visa, raising English language requirements, barring certain institutions, and refusing to accept bank statements from nearly 1,900 banks — the number of student visas issued to Indians fell, from 44,300 in 2010 to 31,000 in 2011.

However, the visa issuance rate has risen, from 70% of 62,400 applications in 2010 to 75% of 41,100 last year, according to data from the UK Border Agency office.

“The reform of the student route has been necessary to ensure that the rules more effectively support genuine students who want to study [in] the UK, whilst preventing abuse of the student route by those who are motivated to work rather than study,” said Sam Murray, regional communications manager, UK Border Agency, South Asia, via email. “It is likely that these changes to the rules have had the effect of reducing the number of student visa applications.”

Universities UK, a representative universities’ group, and university officials, meanwhile, have been strongly lobbying for a more welcoming visa policy.