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Official Migration Figures May Not Include Foreign Students

on Friday, 11 December 2015.

The Chancellor George Osborne indicated on 30 November that foreign students will not be included in migration figures. This decision follows the Treasury's plans to increase student migration figures.

In a move which has been long awaited and supported by business groups and the education sector, the Chancellor has gone against Theresa May's general policy and announced that foreign students should be excluded from official migration figures, because the public is only concerned with 'permanent' migrants.

Osborne also stated that Theresa May's proposals to have tougher language tests and savings requirements for student visa applicants was not government policy and would not happen.

Currently, students must show they have £1,015 per month for living costs for the majority of their study (£1,265 per month in London).

We have previously reported the latest changes to Tier 4 student visas. The government's target is to reduce net migration to below 100,000. However, the Treasury's proposal in the Autumn Statement was to increase student migration by 55,000 by 2020, which will be worth £1 billion. The Treasury also announced that dependant relatives of postgraduate students would have the right to work in Britain.

Best Practice

If Osborne's plan to remove students from official migration figures goes ahead, this will be welcome news for business groups, universities, schools and colleges. The proposal will also be in line with other countries.

For more information, please contact Judith Hockin in our Employment Law team on 0117 314 5302.

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