This month, Conservative Lord Howell of Guildford argued that adjustments to the UK visa process should be made for students from Commonwealth countries. This is to encourage overseas students to come to the UK to pursue their education. Lord Howell went onto suggest that Commonwealth students should be given “a special immigration lane at UK airports to foster closer ties”.
Lord Howell: Make It Less Difficult For Genuine Commonwealth Students
The Tier 4 Student and Child categories under the Points Based System are for those international students who wish to come to the UK to study and experience life and culture in the UK. This does not apply to EEA nationals but it does to non-EEA nationals regardless of whether they are from a Commonwealth country or not. Lord Howell is not happy with the current UK Immigration Rules and accused the UK Government of not understanding the importance of the 53-nation Commonwealth, for both trade and the development of relationships the UK has with other countries. Lord Howell stated his disappointment and what a difference a change in the Immigration Rules would have for the UK:
“I can’t for the life of me see why we shouldn’t at least try to have a Commonwealth business and tourist visa concession and make things less difficult for genuine Commonwealth students. And perhaps we could even have a proper gateway at our airports for realms of her majesty’s 140 million subjects when they visit us. I think our attractiveness would be vastly enhanced if we were able to make those sorts of improvements.”
This is not the first time the treatment of nationals from commonwealth countries have come into question. As we reported back in January, a heated debate took place in Parliament which questioned whether countries should still have the Queen as a Head of State, if they do not hold the same immigration privileges given to EU nationals. A number of MPs in Parliament were arguing that the current UK immigration policies were ‘discriminating against Commonwealth citizens, notably Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians’. It is yet to be seen as whether any changes or talks of changes will be encouraged for the visa process for Commonwealth countries.
Eligibility for Tier 4 Student visas
In order to be eligible for a Tier 4 student visa you must:
- Have been offered a place on a course
- Can speak, read, write and understand English
- Have enough money to support yourself and and pay for your course – this will vary depending on your circumstances
- Are from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
To understand these Home Office’s requirements in more detail we would recommend having a consultation with our expert Immigration Solicitors based in the City of London.
Successful UK Tier 4 Student Visa Applications & Appeals
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a student visa application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.
We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had a student visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.