Recently, leading figures in the UK’s art world have come forward to support international students who choose to come to the UK to study. Recognisable names such as Sir John Hurt, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Sandi Toksvig are just some of the signatories of an open letter published in the Guardian asking for the UK’s immigration policy to be revised. This is in order for international art students to continue to live and work in the UK after they have completed their studies. Under the current UK Immigration Rules international students on a Tier 4 Student visa are only able to work in the UK after they have graduated if they qualify for a Tier 2 General visa.
International Students Accessing Post-Study Work Categories Decline
The 12 signatories of the letter have asked the future UK Government to rethink the Immigration Rules involving international students on a Tier 4 Students visa. Under the current UK Immigration Rules international students that are undertaking a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree can only stay in the UK for up to 4 months after completing their course. This is a very short period of time considering these students have spent up to three years studying and living in the UK.
However, during this time international students may have the opportunity to find work and switch to a Tier 2 General visa which enables them to work. The only problem with this is that international students will have to find a single employee who is offering a salary of at least £20,800. This has proven to be difficult in the art world, as most artists whether they are musicians, actors or painters are either offered jobs that sees them earn relatively lower wages or are employed on short term basis with multiple employers.
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, has voiced her opinion on the treatment of international students in the UK many times before and no changes have been made. Therefore, it is no surprise that Ms Dandridge is still concerned that the UK is missing an opportunity with international students and their ability to contribute to the UK’s economy and cultural life:
“Several leading figures in the arts world have studied at UK universities, many of whom have gone back to their home countries and remained lifelong ambassadors for the UK, or have stayed on in the UK to contribute enormously to our cultural life. If the UK is to remain internationally competitive, it should be looking to broaden, not limit, the opportunities for qualified international graduates to stay in the UK to work for a period and contribute to the economy. Numbers accessing post-study work categories in the UK have dropped dramatically since the government’s most recent changes were introduced.”
Future UK Government Should Encourage International Students to Stay in UK
The treatment of international students in the UK has been a hot topic of debate in politics in the past year and continues to be so. There are fears that the current UK Immigration Rules may threaten the prospects of new international students coming to the UK. The current UK Immigration Rules are not so welcoming and almost impossible to sustain, in particular for international art students. As mentioned above artists are likely to carry out freelance work with multiple employers and therefore already fail to comply with the UK Immigration Rules.
Another argument concerning international students is their inclusion in the migration net target. It has become a relatively know fact that international students contribute to the UK economy by simply studying in the UK. International student’s tuition fees can be up to 4 times as much as UK and EU student’s tuition fees. One of the UK immigration requirements is to ensure international students can maintain themselves for the duration of their education in the UK, therefore no recourse to public funds. Furthermore, it seems relatively common sense that the future UK Government will want to do everything in its power to keep international students in the UK after they have graduated, not only to continue contributing to the economy but to showcase their talent that has been enhanced whilst studying in the UK.
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.