Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Home Office written question – answered on 5th March 2015.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Independent, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many non-EU students who were given visas to study in the UK failed to leave the UK after their studies had ended in each of the last four years.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

In 2012, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) changed its methodology to

provide a better indicator of how many people leaving the UK first came here as

students. The ONS uses this data to estimate that in the year to September

2014, 133,000 non-EU students came to the UK to study for more than 12 months

while only 48,000 left - a difference of 85,000. This is partly because

students are able to extend their Tier 4 visa or switch into another

immigration route in-country, and so remain in the UK. Therefore student

emigration or the lack of it is a key driver of overall net migration.

The Immigration Act 2014 has provided new powers to implement exit checks,

which the last Labour government scrapped in 1998. The data collected by exit

checks will provide the most comprehensive picture we have ever had of whether

those who enter the UK leave when they are supposed to. The Act will also stop

migrants using public services to which they are not entitled, reduce the factors which

encourage people to come to the UK and make it easier to remove people who

should not be here.

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