UK on its Way to Refine its Immigration Policy
According to the UK Office for National Statistics, immigration in UK has increased by 33,000 to 196,000 in 2009. It is most likely that there will be reforms in UK student visa. So, if you wish to apply for Tier 4 student visa or Tier 1 post study work, you should act sooner rather than later. There's a possibility that the Tier 1 post study work visa will be abolished.
If you are traveling to Britain as a non-European migrant then the following news is for you. In June 2010 the UK government announced plans to introduce compulsory English language tests for all non-European nationals applying for UK visa to join or marry their settled partner. Settled status means that the person is lawfully living in Britain with no time limit on his/her stay. UK immigration requirements for those who want to enter or remain in UK as spouse of a British citizen or a person settled here will need to show that they can speak and understand English. This plan is to be implemented from 29 November 2010. The English test has to taken with one of the approved test providers provided by the UK government.
However, it has already been implemented for Tier 4 Visa (general) applicants. This mandatory testing of the candidates for English language has been effective from 12 august 2010. Student applicants wishing to study a course below degree level (excluding foundation degrees) need to demonstrate the required level of English language competence through an approved test for acquiring the UK student visa. Only approved test providers will be able to deliver these secured tests. This requirement to take the English language test will not apply to English language courses for which the applicant has applied.
Past few years have already seen reforms in the UK immigration. Points based skilled immigration category, that is, the highly skilled migrant programme (HSMP), was introduced in January 2002, and was proved to be very successful. However, it has been replaced by Tier 1 Visa (general) which is a part of the UK's new five-tier points based system.