Rishi Sunak is considering cracking down on foreign students who bring dependents and study “low-quality” degrees after net immigration reached its highest level since World War Two.
Downing Street has indicated that plans to lower overall figures could include putting up barriers for the sweethearts of international students and reducing admissions to lower-ranked universities.
This is in line with proposals being explored by Home Secretary Soella Braverman, who has previously complained about foreign students “bringing family members who can get their student visa” and “supporting, frankly, substandard courses in inadequate institutions”.
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appreciate 504,000 more people have come to the UK than left last yearwhich is a number greater than the population of Liverpool.
The estimates were compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which said the jump was driven by “unique” factors including visa schemes for Ukrainians and Hong Kong nationals, and more incoming students from outside the European Union after the lifting of COVID restrictions.
People arriving on study visas account for the largest proportion of the long-term immigration of non-EU citizens, at 277,000, or 39% of the total, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The prime minister’s spokesperson insisted Mr Sunak was “fully committed” to reducing overall immigration levels and blamed “unique and unprecedented circumstances” for the record rise.
“We are looking at all options to make sure the immigration system is adequate, and that includes considering the issue of dependent students and low-quality grades,” the official said.
Such a move could face resistance from other parts of Whitehall such as the Department for Education, which could raise concerns about funding for universities if the number of high-fee-paying international students is cut.
Russell’s group of elite universities told i that large numbers of overseas students “should be seen as a UK success story” and highlighted official figures showing those on study visas are 97.5% compliant in leaving when it ends. their right to survive.
Sky News understands plans for student visa holders have not moved since the Home Secretary said they would look into them in October, with the Home Office focusing more on tackling small boat crossings – or what it calls “illegal immigration”.
register 40,000 migrants have crossed the Channel into the UK this year, compared to 28,561 registered transit cases in 2021.
Ms. Braverman came under fire this week Failed to explain alternative safe and legal routes into the UK for asylum seekers fleeing war.
During questioning by MPs in the Home Affairs Committee, the Home Secretary admitted that “we have failed to control our borders.”
“That is why the Prime Minister and I are absolutely determined to solve this problem,” she insisted.
The government wants to deport the migrants to Rwanda for processing to deter people from making the dangerous journey across the Canal – but the plan has been held up by a series of legal challenges.
And the Under a recent agreement with FranceIn the UK, annual payments to Paris to help border police are set to rise to €72m (£63m) in 2022/23, from €62.7m (£54.8m) for 2021/22.