Visas: Overseas Students

Home Office written question – answered on 13th November 2015.

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Photo of Lord Teverson Lord Teverson Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of halving the maximum visa refusal rate on the Highly Trusted Sponsor status given to higher education institutions in the UK.

Photo of Lord Teverson Lord Teverson Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are considering making further reductions in the maximum university visa refusal rate in relation to Highly Trusted Sponsor status.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department

Highly Trusted Sponsor status was replaced with Tier 4 Sponsor status in April 2015.

The maximum permitted visa refusal rate for Tier 4 sponsors was reduced from 20% to 10% in November 2014 to make sure that the colleges and universities who directly benefit from student migration help prevent abuse, and to ensure that institutions are only offering places to genuine students with an appropriate level of English.

Since the new rate was introduced, visa applications from students wishing to study at the UK’s world-class universities have continued to rise. Latest figures show that visa applications from university students are now 17 per cent higher than they were in 2010, and visa applications to Russell Group universities are 33 per cent higher than in 2010.

We will continue to keep the visa refusal rate under review but we have no imminent plans to change the maximum permitted rate.

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