Britain continues to remain open for brightest and best

09:48, November 26, 2010      

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Britain’s Coalition Government has set out in its programme its intention to reduce net migration to the UK and Home Secretary Theresa May has now announced a package of measures to limit the numbers of people from outside Europe who can travel to the UK and work. The Government will also be consulting shortly on future arrangements for student visas.

The government is clear that the UK is open for business and will continue to welcome the brightest and best people from around the world, as businesspeople, investors and students. The limit will be operated in a way that gives businesses both in the UK and abroad certainty and clarity about the UK’s immigration system.

The Government is determined that the UK should remain Europe’s leading investment destination for international companies developing their global businesses. We will remain the easiest place in Europe in which to set up and run a business, providing easy access to the world’s largest market, allowing companies to benefit from the UK’s strong science base, stable regulatory environment, flexible labour force and world-class transport links.

The Government’s package of measures has been based on independent advice and extensive consultation with business. It contains: an annual limit of 21,700 for 2011-12 across Tiers 1 and 2 of the Points Based System on the number of people going to the UK to work from outside the EU; within that, a limit of 20,700 under Tier 2, concentrated on graduate-level jobs to facilitate the most skilled migrants going to the UK; intra-company transfers will be exempt from these limits - people on intra-company transfer earning more than £40,000 may work in the UK for up to five years, and those earning between £24-40,000 will be able to work in the UK for up to 12 months; a sophisticated model for operating the Tier 2 limit. The Government will distribute Certificates of Sponsorship to employers on a monthly basis, rather than pre-allocating then as currently under the interim limit; closure of the Tier 1 General route and using Tier 1 to attract more investors, entrepreneurs and people of exceptional talent; a limit for the revised Tier 1 route, excluding entrepreneurs and investors, of 1,000.

The Government will also shortly be publishing a consultation paper setting out the ways in which we believe the new system for international students should operate in the future. We recognise that international students bring great value to the UK and many become lifelong friends of the UK when they return home. The Government’s aim is for the UK, with its world-renowned education system, to remain the destination of choice for the many thousands of higher education students who choose to study abroad. The Government wants to ensure that every student who goes to the UK is genuine, and is studying with a bona fide education provider which will enhance their future prospects when they return home. We also want to prevent abuse and make the system more efficient for genuine students.

The consultation, which will run for eight weeks, will seek views on a range of measures such as: for adult students, focussing Tier 4 on higher level courses and those offered by Highly Trusted Sponsors (including our leading secondary schools); introducing tougher entry criteria such as English language competence; ensuring that students wishing to extend their studies show evidence of academic progression; limiting students’ entitlements to work and sponsor dependants; and improving the accreditation process for education providers, alongside more rigorous inspections.

We encourage all those with an interest to feed in your views to the consultation once it has been published

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “These changes are crucial if we are to limit the numbers coming here to work while still attracting the brightest and the best to the UK.”

She wanted to ensure that students and education providers were of a high quality saying: “We want suitably qualified students with the genuine desire to study to come to our country.”

(Editor:张心意)

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