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UK court strikes new English rules for visa

world Updated: Jul 09, 2010 23:35 IST

PTI
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English language schools in UK on Friday won a High Court battle over new visa curbs, that were alleged to be damaging to their commercial success, a measure to check immigration from India and other non-EU countries.

The legal case was brought against the new regulations that stipulate that students entering the UK to study must have a good standard of English.

The new rules were announced as part of the coalition government's measures to curb illegal immigration from India and other non-EU countries.

English UK, which represents 440 language schools, says the regulations are "disproportionate and unjustified".

The language schools said the restrictions would result in the loss of thousands of jobs and millions of pounds in foreign earnings.

Before the High Court verdict, Tony Millns, chief executive of English UK, had said: "It's clearly absurd requiring students to know English before they come here to study it."

His group brought the case on technical grounds by arguing that the Home Office should have brought the issue back to Parliament for proper debate.

Justice Foskett declared the fresh restrictions had been achieved through altering guidelines when there should have been a formal change to the rules, with the matter referred back to Parliament.

After the verdict, Millns said: "I am delighted and relieved. We are pleased that Mr Justice Foskett saw the merits of our case and we believe that his decision is good for the UK economy, to which the English language sector contributes about 1.5 billion pounds in foreign earnings each year."

The Home Office said the student route was being used by illegal immigrants and migrants seeking low-skilled work.

A spokesman said: "We are carefully considering this judgment. This government is committed to undertake a review into the Student Tier of the Points Based System in its entirety later this year to ensure that every student who comes to the UK is genuine."