Student visas continue to be a battleground between business interests and the governments stance on overall immigration. There is no question that foreign students make a positive contribution to the UK - currently it is estimated they add £8 billion a year to the UK economy. Based on previous growth rates this was expected to double by 2025.
The new Home Secretary is putting some additional levels on top of the controls introduced last year. These include interim quota's for Tier 1 visa's and the "per employer" quota's that will apply to Tier 2 visa's. Additionally the points threshold has been raised by 5 points.
The UK governments ham fisted approach to quotas on Tier 2 work permits has made waves with a lot of employers for all the wrong reasons. The outrage has been uniform across a range of industries. In the words of Boris Johnson, the mayor of London a "...cap could be very detrimental to the free movement of the talented, creative and enterprising people who have enabled London to be such a dominant global force."
The government has introduced an interim quota covering Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa's. This is merely a preamble to firm quota's which will be enforced soon.
Additionally the Tier 1 threshold has risen to 80 points.
The quota system for Tier 2 permits shouldn't affect our providers so much - because the quota's are tied to company sponsors and not to individual applicants.
It would appear that if you're planning to come to UK under the former highly skilled migrant program... you better hurry!
I've been on the Home Office website but am a bit confused about the changes to highly skilled migrant work permit. Now its a Tier 1 visa? What is the difference?