24 March 2011
Intense lobbying by Britain's education sector and others has resulted in the Tier 1 Post Study Work immigration scheme continuing for another year. Tier 1 PSW allows non-EU students of UK educational institutions to live and work in the UK after graduation for up to two years. The Government is also expected to allow private further-education colleges which provide "pathway" courses to apply for student visa sponsorship accreditation.
The Government originally had hinted that it would not allow non-EU students to obtain a visa for "pathway" courses such as English language classes and that the Tier 1 Post Study Work scheme would end in April 2011 as part of a general plan to reduce net immigration into the UK. The Tier 1 PSW scheme will continue for at least another year.
The UK has already announced an annual permanent immigration cap on Tier 1 highly skilled immigration and Tier 2 skilled immigration that will take effect in 6 April of 2011. There is currently a temporary immigration cap.
The UK higher education sector has been aggressively lobbying against reducing student immigration into Britain. The UK's education sector is estimated to be a 40 billion pounds per year industry.
However, while the Post Study Work will stay for at least another year, other rules will be tightened from 6 April 2011. Stricter rules will govern the ability to work for foreign students. Only students at University and at Government funded Further Education colleges will have the right to work.