UK Universities launch pilot scheme to let student visas be issued easily
Posted on December 18, 2017
Glasgow and Edinburgh universities of Scotland will join 21 other universities in the United Kingdom to participate in a pilot scheme, the aim of which is to make it less difficult for some overseas Masters students to obtain British visas.
The pilot scheme will simplify the process for courses of up to 13 months or fewer.
It is said that this would benefit Tier 4 visa applicants from the Far East and the United States.
Although students the European Union /European Economic Area member states do not require visas to pursue Studies in the UK, it is not known what their status would be after Brexit.
The scheme has already been launched at four institutions in England.
The BBC quotes the UK government as saying that the pilot would be of great support for foreign students who want to transition to work visas and pursue a graduate role as it lets them stay in the UK for six months after they have completed their courses, unlike four months currently.
Universities, which are a part of this pilot scheme, would be responsible for eligibility checks – implying that students henceforth need to submit fewer documents than currently required in the process, besides their visa applications.
Identity and Home Office security checks would still be needed for all students.
Brandon Lewis, UK Immigration Minister, said that he was pleased to announce this pilot’s expansion which is part of their existing activity to make sure that their world-class institutions retain their highest competitive levels.
He said that their country is still the second most sought-after destination for students across the world and the number of students enrolling at UK universities has risen by 24 percent since 2010.
According to Lewis, this is a definite sign that bona fide students are welcome and there would be no restriction on the numbers who can enter the UK to study there.
David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, was of the view that the changes would attract foreign students wanting to study in Scotland and help their universities to attract the crème-de-la crème of talent.
Charlie Jeffery, the senior vice principal of the University of Edinburgh, said that nearly three thousand of their overseas students would benefit from their engagement in the scheme, which will allow them to extend their studies or participate in their entrepreneurial ideas.
The government of Scotland also expressed pleasure that two of their universities would part of the pilot scheme but was disappointed that it took them over a year to become involved in it.
Dr Alasdair Allan, the Minister for International Development and Europe, said that they urged the UK government to launch these modest amendments to the Tier 4 visas to all universities very soon.
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