UK tells Indian students to find jobs if they want to stay on
Posted on December 13, 2014
Hyderabad: While student emigration from India to the United Kingdom has been dipping over the last two years, top officials from the UK Home Office say it is not because of the visa regime of the country.
The country has sought to allay fears among students and business persons about its supposedly strict visa regime. Requests for a UK visa-processing centre in Hyderabad have also been dismissed citing the good performance of the processing centre in Chennai.
Jeremy Oppenheim, the director for Growth and Engagement in the UK Home Office, deputy high commissioner to Hyderabad Andrew McAllister and other top officials of the UK Home Office met with representatives of Nasscom, CII and students of BITS-Pilani Hyderabad on Thursday.
In an exclusive interview with the Deccan Chronicle, Mr Oppenheim said there were concerns about the cost of the visa process and the processing time. “We are trying to ascertain from Hyderabad what’s working and what’s not. There are concerns about the cost of visa application process. There are people who complained about there being no visa processing centre in Hyderabad,” he said.
Mr Oppenheim added, “There definitely won’t be a visa processing centre in Hyderabad, but we have a visa application centre. That is because we can easily deal with Hyderabad visas through the processing centre in Chennai.”
Visas applied for the UK in Hyderabad are generally processed in Chennai. Mr Oppenheim said though there were concerns about the processing time, it was fast enough with visas being processed in a maximum of 15 days.
Talking about the concerns of students, Mr Oppenheim admitted that there was also a perception that the visa application process for the UK was very complicated. Despite this, he said that visas were granted to an overwhelming 91 per cent of the applicants in India.
Post study work visa:
Regarding the concerns over the abolition of the post study work visa system, Mr Oppenheim said that students were welcome to stay on in the UK if they found a job, adding that the UK had issued 4,02,000 visas in the last 12 months.
“There is a slight decrease in the number of students, but it is stable now,” Mr Oppenheim said. However, in a recent report stated said that there had been a fall in the number of Indian students going to the UK while there has been a rise in the numbers of those going to the US and Australia. “These are not due to visa issues but something to do with the universities,” Mr Oppenheim said.
Mr Oppenheim also said that students who had completed doctoral studies could stay on in the UK. “Our Home Secretary is very clear that if you have to come to study, then you should just study. But if students want to stay on in the UK after their study, they should find an employer,” he said.
“You find a job during the period of study and not after your study. Students should start much before graduation,” he said.