The government has stated, now and in the past, that it fully expects international students to leave after they finish their courses, unless they get jobs and can get a Tier 2 skilled working visa. The government’s website is straightforward in explaining this stance.
At the time of the election in June 2017, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated that the number of students that overstayed their visas after finishing their courses was approximately 100,000. However, in August 2017, the ONS released updated data, highlighting that the number that overstayed their visas was actually around 4,600, meaning as many as 97.4% of international students left the UK on time. It is clear, then, that not only does the government expect students to leave when they finish their courses, but the vast majority are actually leaving.
On the next part of the pledge, the government has introduced new, higher requirements for non-EU students to return to Britain after they have graduated from a UK institution. The requirement for eligibility for a Tier 2 skilled working visa has increased from a minimum salary of £30,000 to £46,000 per year. The raising of this threshold will make it more difficult for non-EU students to re-enter the country after their studies are completed, and so with both parts of the policy completed, this one can be considered ‘done’.
Love the detail?
- UK visa student overstayers overestimated by government – Workpermit.com
- Theresa May under fire as student visa myth exposed – The Guardian
- About us – The Office for National Statistics
- Tier 2 (General) visa – Gov.uk
- Home Office accused of basing foreign student policy on ‘fantasy’ – The Independent
- Exit checks data raises questions over May’s focus on student overstayers – The Guardian