Foreign nationals applying for a UK student visa will have to face stricter entry criteria starting February 10. The new rules are set up to limit the ability of foreign students to work in the UK and make it illegal for their dependents to work at all. They will make entry to the UK much harder for foreign nationals who apply for UK student visa only as a means to come to the UK to work illegally.
Before these measures were introduced, it was really easy to apply for a UK student visa. All a foreign national needed to show was a letter from an approved college or university that he is enrolled in a course of study and a proof of funds in the form of 5000 GBP that has stayed in their bank account for 30 days. The official letter is very easily obtainable as the college officials have no means to check if the person intends to study or not. The 5000 GBP can easily be borrowed and repaid while working illegally in the UK. For these reasons many people have abused the system through the years. Student visa used to be the easiest way to gain entry to the UK.
The new rules will make sure that, first of all, all foreign nationals who want to apply for a UK student visa have a good standard of English. They will also limit the time a student visa holder studying below first degree or a foundation degree course is able to work legally to 10 per week during the term. Also, student visa holders will not be allowed to bring their dependants to the UK if they are studying a course shorter than 6 months. Moreover, dependants of UK student visa holders studying on a lower than undergraduate level are not allowed to work at all.
These measures will allow genuine foreign students to still benefit from the world known for its high quality educational system in the UK and will stop illegal immigrants to enter the country as bogus students. Once a foreign student has completed his course of study and obtained a degree, he can stay in the UK legally by switching visa categories and apply for highly skilled worker visa or skilled worker visa in case they have an employer who wants to sponsor them. If they have found a partner in the UK, they can also apply for a marriage visa, common law marriage visa or same sex partner visa