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UK: Early opening of new international student immigration path

The UK is opening its new points-based immigration system on 5 October 2020 instead of January 2021. According to a Home Office statement “The new student route improves on the previous Tier 4 route by making it more streamlined for sponsoring institutions and their students (…) creating clearer pathways for students

International students will have to achieve 70 points (through receiving an offer from a UK school or university, being able to speak English and being prepared to support themselves financially during their studies in the UK) to obtain a visa under this new immigration path. According to Kevin Foster, Minister for Future Borders and Immigrations, launching this plan earlier “sends a clear message to the world we want the best and brightest to come to the UK to study at our globally renowned education institutions”.

According to a press release by the UK Home Office, this initiative allows the government to “attract talent and take back control by treating people from every part of the world equally and giving us control of our borders”. Also, under this new Student route, there will be no cap on the number of international students allowed to enter the UK. Therefore, the government hopes to boost the number of incoming international student.

However, even though this measure is a clear sign of the UK’s desire to attract international students despite Brexit, the COVID-19 situation is likely to reduce demands for the Tier 4 visa, as students will be less prone to travel. EU students will also most likely drawback demands, as they might be less willing to pay the higher visa and tuition fees due to Brexit.

The government press release is available here.

More information can be found here.