Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Home Department written question – answered on 22 March 2010.

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Photo of Adrian Sanders Adrian Sanders Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria he plans to use to determine whether a Tier 4 visa sponsor is highly trusted; and for what reasons all Tier 4 visa sponsors should not be considered highly trusted.

Photo of Phil Woolas Phil Woolas Minister of State (the North West), Home Office, Minister of State (the North West), HM Treasury, Minister of State (the North West), Regional Affairs

The criteria for Highly Trusted Sponsors will be published on 22 March. The scheme will be implemented on 6 April. The UK Border Agency has consulted with the education sector on the development of the criteria.

Highly trusted sponsors will be required to meet tough new additional criteria and demonstrate that they have a track record of success in terms of bringing genuine students to the UK. These guidelines are being introduced for sponsors who wish to recruit international students in categories where there is a higher risk of abuse.

In addition, all sponsors will be required to meet robust new minimum standards regarding the recruitment and retention of students.

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