British visa for students to be made tougher

KATHMANDU: UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson today announced that international students wanting to study in the UK would be required to meet stricter criteria in future.

The new requirements for international students follow a review of Tier 4 points based system. The review looked whether the current arrangements meet the right balance between facilitating access by genuine students and preventing abuse by economic migrants.

"The new requirements are targeted and proportionate and continue to support the UK government's commitment to ensuring that the UK remains an attractive destination to legitimate international students who want to benefit from the world-class education," read a press statement issued by the British Embassy in Kathmandu.

Quoting Home Secretary, the statement said, "The points based system was introduced to provide a rigorous system to manage legitimate access to the UK to work and study.”

It further said, “We want foreign students to come here to study, not to work illegally.” The Home Secretary made no apologies for the hundreds of students who had applied for the study and waiting for visa.

According to the new requirement, students studying below degree or foundation degree-level will be restricted to working for 10 hours per week during term-time (a reduction from 20 hours), with fulltime employment permitted during the holidays. For those students studying on courses of six months or less will not be entitled to bring their dependants to the UK.

The statement further said that the dependants of students studying courses below degree or foundation degree-level will not be permitted to take employment in the UK unless they qualify in their own right under one of the other PBS tiers.