Written question answered on Tuesday 6 February 2018
Robert Neil MP (Conservatives) asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to further expand the student visa pilot scheme.
Answered on 6 February 2018 by Caroline Nokes, Minister of State for Immigration:
The Tier 4 visa pilot, helps to streamline the visa process for international students looking to study on a Masters’ course, in the UK, of 13 months or less. The pilot also helps to support students who wish to switch into a work route and take up a graduate role, by extending the leave period following the end of their study to up to six months.
23 additional institutions were selected to participate based on having the consistently lowest visa refusal rates for their region or country. The evaluation of the pilot is ongoing, with an interim report due to be published in the summer of 2018. The primary focus of the evaluation is to assess the impact of the Tier 4 visa pilot on UK education institutions’ competitiveness in terms of attracting international students and the ability of international students to switch into a work route. Engaging more sponsors to participate in the pilot will provide additional evidence for the evaluation to ensure it more accurately represents the diversity of the sector. Once evaluated, we will consider whether to introduce the offer being tested with the pilot into the Immigration Rules and make it policy.
We regularly engage with the education sector on student migration policy, including the Tier 4 visa pilot. We hold a quarterly Education Sector Forum with key representatives from the sector including the devolved administrations.
- Posted by Rhys Newcombe-Jones
- On 08/02/2018