Valerie Hartwich's blog

London Metropolitan enrolled students allowed to continue at the university

On Friday 21st, the High Court ruled that international students with full immigration status already on courses at London Metropolitan University would be allowed to continue their studies at the university this year. This will significantly reduce the number of students forced to leave the country because of the UKBA's decision so near to the beginning of the new academic year. However, all new international students who were about to start at London Met remain in limbo unless they have managed to find an alternative university.

London Metropolitan university shows absurdity of sponsorship system

After having its sponsorship licence taken away, London Metropolitan university mounted a legal challenge. The court ruling led to the Border Agency now allowing already enrolled foreign students to complete their studies at the university. This will significantly reduce the number of foreign students affected, highliting what we identified from the start as a major issue: the unproportionate and unfair nature of the sponsorship system that binds students, education providers and the UKBA together. A few cases of abuse or mismanaged files have the potential to affect thousands, even if they are bona fide students.
Whilst we welcome this change in the UKBA

September 2012: a nightmare for international students at London Met University

Ten days ago the UK Border Agency revoked the sponsorship license of London Metropolitan University because of concerns over inaccurate documentation for a "small minority" of students. This means the university will no longer be able to teach or recruit non-EU students. As a consequence around 3000 international students already enrolled on courses now have less than 60 days to find alternative universities to avoid deportation. And the 2700 who were to start a degree at London Met will no longer be allowed in the country.

UK citizen still fighting to live in his country with Chinese wife

Almost a year ago we posted a blog piece about a British resident in China who was struggling to move back to the UK because the UKBA wouldn't issue his wife a visa, despite her having absolute right to come into the country. It had already been a long battle with appeals and confusing, and at times contradictory, information as to what the best procedures were. The situation left Mr Logan unable to live in the country with his wife and daughter, and facing increasing difficulties in combining living his private life and caring for his ageing mother.

Without passport for nearly 6 months, the emotional turmoil of the visa process

We published a text by Megan Horvath a few months ago in which she shared with us what it felt like and what it meant to be going through immigration processes. She wrote to us again to update us on her situation. As she is applying for a indefinite leave to remain visa, she has had to go through the entire application process again, and has now been without a passport for 5 months. She tells us what it feels like to be unable to leave the country and unsure as to how her fate wil be decided.

Hotel giant calls for immigration policy relaxation

Intercontinental Hotels Group called for the UK government to relax its immigration policies, saying that current rules are putting the UK at a disavantage compared to EU countries. It quotes the Tourism Alliance's figure of a 60% drop in Chinese tourists over the last ten years.

According to the group the rules in place are putting tourists off from coming to the UK as it appears to not welcome them.

The full articles is here.

Is the UK really in a position to attract the best and Brightest? by Ian Birrell

On Monday, the Evening Standard published an opinion by Ian Birrell in which he calls for a more rational approach to immigration policies if the UK is really to attract the best and brightest. And he does so as London welcomes the best athletes from aroung the world.

On your marks, get set — it’s nearly time to go. The four-yearly circus that claims to be the greatest show on earth has descended on London and our leaders are determined to make the most of being in the world’s spotlight.

Most recent visa changes cause many international students to be in limbo

The NUS has been conducting a campaign to show the consequences that the most recent immigration changes scrapping their right to stay for two years after studies are having for genuine international students.
It collected the personal stories and complaints of hundreds of overseas students to highlight that distressing situations are being created by the changes implemented in the last few months.

High-risk international students to be interviewed on entry to the UK

The UKBA has announced that it would introduce compulsory tests for 'high-risk' international students. International students from some countries and/or backgrounds are thought to present more risk of being bogus than others. The categories are based on past experiences and data collected by the UKBA and Home Office. It is vastly criticised because it makes sweeping generalisations about entire countries and populations.

Pressure mounts on the PM to take international students out of the immigration cap

Pressure is increasing on the Prime Minister to take international students out the immigration cap. More and more evidence is showing how the new restrictions are already affecting applications and intakes of students from overseas, especially from countries such as India. The loss for Higher Education is estimated to be around £2.6 billion by the Home Office.

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