New rules for UK Tier 4 and Tier 1 visas for students

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14 February 2012

UK immigration has announced new rules that UK immigration says will reduce abuse of the student visa route. UK Immigration Minister Damian Green announced the complete list of changes today.

We have already reported on the forthcoming closure of the Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa route on 6 April 2012. Under this visa, students are able to work in the UK for 2 years following graduation. There will be a new Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa. However, hardly anyone will qualify for this.

The new rules also require graduates applying under Tier 2 (General) to have an offer of a skilled job at a salary of at least 20,000 (or more in some cases) from a reputable employer accredited by the UK Border Agency in order to continue living and working in the UK.

Other changes include:
"It is vital that we continue to attract the brightest and the best international students, but we have to be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay," said Green.
"With the introduction of the Graduate Entrepreneur route and the restrictions on student work, we are reforming the system to deliver immigration to benefit Britain."

Additionally, UK immigration announced they are preparing to introduce further changes to UK Immigration Rules for employment related settlement (permanent residents), overseas domestic workers, and Tiers 2 and 5 of the points-based system. Further announcements regarding these changes, which are also planned for April, will be made as soon as possible.

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