Tag Archives: tier 4 for uk

London Metropolitan University Finally Satisfies UK Border Agency

It’s been a long eight months (yes 8 months!) but finally, someone, somewhere within the UK Border Agency (UKBA) is satisfied that London Metropolitan University (London Met) has finally come up to scratch with its obligations as a Sponsor of international student migrants. London Met’s Tier 4 licence suspension nightmare is finally over. Well, almost.

The UKBA made the following announcement on its website:

“Following the revocation of London Metropolitan University’s licence, we undertook a series of detailed checks on their systems and processes for monitoring non-EEA students. As a result the university has made significant improvements, which is why we are now allowing the university to again sponsor students.

“The university now has appropriate checks and processes in place to monitor its international (non-EEA) students, which is why we have allowed the university to again sponsor students under the Tier 4 route.

“Over the next 12 months the university will have the opportunity to demonstrate that it can maintain these standards and work towards becoming a full Highly Trusted Sponsor. Over the past year our aim has been to support legitimate students choosing to study in the UK.

“It is in the interest of international students that all institutions take their immigration responsibilities seriously and demonstrate that they comply with the rules.”

In a statement from London Met, vice-chancellor Malcolm Gillies said:

“This is excellent news for our students and our university, which looks forward to welcoming students from around the world who want to study at one of London’s most diverse academic institutions.

“London Met has a long history of providing education to international students and we can now continue this long-term commitment to offer them quality education.

“Students can have total confidence that our processes are stronger than ever. I take this opportunity to thank all staff and students and, in particular, international students for their patience and support over the last nine months.”

London Met was previously a Highly Trusted Sponsor, and lost its status in August 2012. The right to remain and study in the UK was put at risk for some 2,600 students. The issue was temporarily sorted – giving a slight reprieve to the University’s students already in the UK – but London Met was still prevented from recruiting new students until their licence issue was fully resolved. As a result they could recruit no students for the January 2013 intake.

With the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) joining what was an intense and fiery battle, London Metropolitan University took the case to the High Court last year. Despite the UKBA finding significant shortcomings within the University’s administration, Mr Justice Irwin – the Judge who heard the case – allowed London Met to seek a Judicial Review of the decision to revoke their licence, which will be heard in October 2013. Mr Justice Irwin refused, however, to quash the UKBA’s decision to withdraw.

The UKBA has subsequently confirmed that current students of London Metropolitan University who have leave to enter / remain in the UK will be allowed to finish their courses.

As expected, students of London Met are relieved with the news. Emmanuel Egwu, a final year student said:

“I am truly thrilled that London Met has finally got back its licence. I came from Nigeria, to study here in the UK and London Met has given me the opportunity to exercise and develop my academic knowledge.

“There isn’t another university who can give students a quality and affordable education, right here in the centre of London.

“My four years of studying at London Met have been fantastic and I encourage students to find a place here- it’s a great learning environment.”

The NUS responded to the news at its annual conference in Sheffield. President Liam Burns said:

“It is welcome news that students have greater stability and security now London Met is back on the road to regaining its HTS licence, and that existing students can finally have confidence that they can continue their studies at a university with a licence.

“We do however have some pressing concerns about restrictions on numbers, work placements, and re-sits in this transitional year and will be urgently seeking further clarification.”

The National Union of Students has joined other stakeholders in criticism of the UK’s Coalition Government over the way it treats international students, especially counting them in net migration figures. This argument has support from a wide-range of sources, including five parliamentary committees.

Burns went on to say:

“This whole saga has shown why the Home Office urgently needs to take responsibility for the damage it has caused to the reputation of the UK’s world class education system and change the way it treats international students to ensure full and proper protection for those studying in this country.

“It is deeply problematic for immigration policy to interfere with teaching and learning, both of which should be firmly in the hands of students and educators.”

A further statement surrounding the issue, from Professor Gillies, was made on London Met’s website:

“Many staff and students have been asking about the university’s progress in regaining its licence to sponsor international students.

“I am pleased to say that the University has now submitted its application for a Tier 4 licence to the UK Border Agency on 1 March 2013.

“We have recently learned that the dates for the High Court case with the UK Border Agency have been set for 17-18 October 2013.

“Although that might seem a long way away, the university and its lawyers Penningtons are already working hard on the case.”

Meanwhile, London Met is set for a bumper recruitment drive to recover from this sorry saga, with a planned four-month tour through 17 countries. Further, nearly 5,000 potential students have made applications for the September 2013.

I do not think that this will be the last we hear about London Metropolitan University and the UK Border Agency / Home Office.

Applicants of English Language Courses Remain Banned in Bangladesh

Following Damien Green’s visit to Bangladesh, the ban on Bangladeshi UK visa applicants was partially lifted on 22 July 2010, with those applying for foundation degrees, Bachelor programmes and post-graduate courses able to finally arrange a visa application appointment. The ban on all Child Student visa applicants was also lifted.

On 12 August 2010, the UK Border Agency lifted the ban on all courses expect English language. The suspension of applications for those wishing to join English language courses will remain under close review by the Border Agency.

Tier 4 applicants are required to make an appointment at a visa application centre in order to submit their Tier 4 visa applications. Appointments are free of charge. Guidance on how to schedule an appointment is available on the website: www.vfs-uk-bd.com.

On 12 August, the UK Border Agency will introduce a secure English language test requirement for Tier 4 (General Student) visas worldwide. Applicants who are studying courses below degree level, excluding a foundation degree and an English language course, need to pass a secure English language test. This test must be taken with a UK Border Agency-approved provider before the applicant applies for a CAS from the sponsor.

All applicants who make Tier 4 (General Student) visa applications to study the above courses from 12 August and using a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued from this date will need to pass a new secure English language test.

It is important that applicants follow the current Tier 4 guidance carefully, complete their applications fully and submit the correct supporting documents. There have been some significant changes to the Tier 4 policy in 2010. Tier 4 guidance and application forms are available to customers free of charge.

If applicants submit fraudulent documents or false information, their visa applications will be refused. They also face an automatic ban on entry to the UK for the next 10 years for any category of visa.

Applicants may be requested to attend an interview with the UK Border Agency as part of the visa application process.

Further information

1. The temporary suspension of new Tier 4 applications was implemented in Bangladesh on 1 February 2010.

2. With effect from 22 July, the temporary suspension is lifted for the following courses: foundation degrees (including the Scottish HND in (3) below), degree and postgraduate courses only. On 12 August the suspension will be lifted for other NQF 5 equivalent courses and below. The suspension will remain in place for English language courses.

3. A foundation degree means a programme of study which leads to a qualification awarded by a UK higher education institution with degree awarding powers, which is at a minimum of level 5 on the revised National Qualifications Framework (NQF), or level 8 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. Further information about NQF levels is available at: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/standardsandquality/otherrefpoints/qualsboundaries.asp

4. Tier 4 (General Student) visas are for people coming to the United Kingdom for their post-16 education. Tier 4 (Child Student) visas are for children between the ages of 4 and 17 to come to the UK. Those aged between 4 and 15 may only be educated at independent fee-paying schools. Applicants aged 16-17 years studying on courses at NQF level 3 or above have a choice of making an application either in the Tier 4 General Student category or the Tier 4 Child Student category.

5. Tier 4 of the points based system was reviewed earlier in 2010 and a number of significant changes have been introduced. The main changes are as follows:

The electronic CAS has replaced the Visa Letter.

Students who are studying below degree level, excluding foundation degrees, are permitted to work a maximum of 10 hours per week (a reduction from 20 hours). Their dependents are not permitted to work unless they qualify in their own right under the points based system.

Students who are studying a course of 6 months or less are not permitted to bring their dependents with them.

A new “highly trusted sponsor” designation has been introduced for education providers that can offer courses at National Qualification Framework level 3 and Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 6 and below.

To study courses below NQF level 6, students need to be competent in English language to level B1 Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Until now, it has been the education provider’s responsibility to test this.

6. The published Tier 4 guidance is available free of charge at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/pbs/tier4migrantguidance1.pdf

7. Tier 4 visa application forms (VAF 9 and appendix 8 for General Students and appendix 9 for Child Students) are available free of charge at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas

8. Applicants are required to demonstrate that they are proficient to at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Applicants who are intending to study a foundation degree or at degree level (NQF level 6) and above, or an English language course, are not required to take a secure English language test before applying for a visa. Education providers may however, request students to provide evidence of English language proficiency to ensure they are capable of following the course for which they have applied.

This post was submitted by Heron.

Damian Green’s Statement of Changes to the Immigration Points Based System

The Minister of State for Immigration (Damian Green): The Immigration Rules specify that the detail of how certain requirements will be applied will be set out in UK Border Agency guidance rather than in the Immigration Rules themselves. This is essential best practice as it enables the UK Border Agency to have the flexibility it needs to make minor changes whilst staying within the framework set out in the Immigration Rules.

However, on two particular points successful legal challenges have been brought to the extent to which requirements must be set out in the Immigration Rules rather than UK Border Agency guidance. The first is the minimum levels of courses that may be studied under Tier 4 (General). The second is the periods of time that applicants must have held available funds for.

In light of the court judgements I am bringing the detail of these requirements within the Immigration Rules. The requirements themselves are not changing, although in the case of English language courses, I am using this as an opportunity to re-introduce the minimum level for such courses which was in place before the judgement was handed down. By doing this, if the requirements do change in future, those changes will need to be laid before Parliament.

I am also making a further change to the Tier 4 (General) category today to make it a requirement for some students studying below degree level to provide evidence of having passed a UK Border Agency –approved secure English language test at a minimum of B1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages. This change builds on the previous position where the sponsors of such students were required to make their own assessment of the English language level of the student. The use of an independent test is an advance on this as it should help ensure that sponsors are not duped by students offering false or fake documents to prove their English language ability.

It is right that under the points based system, all students now need to apply to the UK Border Agency to vary their leave before being able to change institutions. This is essential so that the UK Border Agency can maintain accurate records of where migrants are studying and check that the institutions to which they wish to move are bona fide and are willing to take on the sponsorship of their new students under Tier 4. Consequently, Tier 4 students are unable to start studying at their new sponsor institution until they have received a positive decision on their

The principle of sponsorship – whereby those who benefit most directly from the contributions migrants make to the United Kingdom (employers and education institutions) are expected to play their part in ensuring the UK’s migration system is not abused – is an integral part of the Points Based System. The new Highly Trusted sponsor licence introduced for Tier 4 sponsors on 6 April 2010 provides a further segmentation of the existing sponsor rating system designed to identify those sponsors who are achieving the highest levels of compliance with their sponsor obligations and whose students are showing the greatest compliance with the terms of their visa or leave. Those holding a Highly Trusted sponsor licence are granted additional freedoms and offered new services to recognise their previous track record of good compliance.

In recognition of the high levels of student compliance among Highly Trusted sponsors; I have agreed an additional freedom for their students which is being introduced by the change to the Immigration Rules for Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child) students today. The change will allow the students of Highly Trusted sponsors to commence their studies with them before receipt of UKBA’s decision on their application.

In addition, for the avoidance of doubt, I am also making changes today to our general grounds for refusing applicants, (for example on the basis of submitting false documents), to make it absolutely clear that these provisions also apply to applicants who have overstayed their previous permission to be here.

Because of the urgent nature of some of these changes, it has not been possible in respect of some of them to follow the usual convention of laying them before the House for 21 days before they come into force. I regret that this has not been possible in this instance. The changes permitting students to change sponsors where their new sponsor is a Highly Trusted Sponsor and those made following successful legal challenges will come into force tomorrow, on 23 July

Border Agency again raises Minimum English level in spite of High Court Ruling

English UK are understandably “very disappointed” at the UK Border Agencies decision to raise the minimum English level back to B1 for all Tier 4 (General) student visa applicants.

Announced 22 July 2010 and effective from 23 July, all students studying a course below degree level – including English language courses – will have to demonstrate that they are proficient in English near A Level standard or B1 on the CEFR framework. English UK Chief Executive Tony Millns stands by his description of the situation as, “clearly absurd.”

Originally introduced by the previous Labour Government on 3 March 2010, this was overturned by Mr Justice Foskett, a UK High Court Judge, who ordered the UK Border Agency to return the minimum level to A1, allowing English language learners of a basic level to study in the UK.

“We’re very disappointed that the Border Agency has made this change without us having had the chance to meet the new Immigration Minister, Damian Green, and make our case with him,” said Mr Millns.

“A group of MPs who represent constituencies with high concentrations of language schools and myself are due to meet Mr Green on Monday. They are very concerned about the effect of this ruling on the local economy of their constituencies. When Mr Green was in opposition, he too was very supportive of our position and the detrimental effect this rule has on genuine students.”

High Profile Clampdown on Sham Weddings and Bogus Colleges, plus Radical Changes to the UKBA

Damien Green, the UK Immigration minister has drawn the battle lines against those who think the UK is soft touch. He said the Government was determined to send a clear message to those with no right to come to the UK.

The immigration minister is facing heavy criticism over his policy to return Iraqi nationals on charter flights and for paying asylum seekers in Calais waiting to enter the UK illegally £4,000 not to do so.

At the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee Mr Green said, “Britain has been seen as something of a soft touch. One of the drivers of the new Government’s immigration policy is to send a message around the world that Britain is no longer a soft touch.”

He added: “We are going to do a lot of enforcement over the next few months on sham marriages, bogus colleges, illegal work. I think it’s very important that we not only clamp down on all that but clamp down very publicly. It’s all part of sending a message.”

The Immigration minister was also adamant about forging ahead with his controversial policies on Iraqi detainees. He told MPs, “I am absolutely unrepentant about returning people who have no right to be in this country to Iraq.”

He also confirmed that he would continue the Labour government’s policy of offering cash to immigrants wanting to smuggle themselves into the UK through Calais.

“It looks unpalatable but it is the least worst option,” he said. “That’s much better for the taxpayer.”

Of the UK Border Agency, Mr Green promised radical reform: “My feeling is that it’s better than it was but there’s an awful long way to go. We are looking at potentially radical changes to make it more efficient.”

UKBA to Introduce Secure English Language tests in August

Some students applying under the Tier 4 (General) category of the points based system will be required to undergo secure English language testing from 12 August 2010.

Any student who will be studying a course in the UK below level 6 of the National Qualifications Framework will be subject to the test. Students’ sponsors will be required to ensure that applicants are competent in the English language at a minimum level of B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Students can demonstrate this to their sponsors in the following ways:

– Be from a majority English-speaking country; or
– Have completed a course as a child student in the UK lasting at least six months or ending no more than two years before an adult CAS would be assigned;
– Have achieved an English language qualification at CEFR level B1 or above from an approved test provider. Students must achieve a minimum of B1 in all the modules: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Students studying Foundation Degrees or English language courses will not be affected by this change.

Approved English Test Providers and Minimum Scores Required

TOEFL: Minimum B1 required

Listening – 13
Reading – 8
Writing – 17
Speaking – 19

PTE Academic: Minimum B1 required

Listening – 43
Reading – 43
Writing – 43
Speaking – 43

IELTS: Minimum B1 required

Listening – 4.0
Reading – 4.0
Writing – 4.0
Speaking – 4.0

ILEC and ICFE: Minimum B2 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

CPE: Minimum C2 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

CAE: Minimum C1 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

BEC Vantage: Minimum B2 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

BEC Higher: Minimum C1 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

BEC Preliminary: Minimum B1 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

FCE: Minimum B2 required

Listening – Weak
Reading – Weak
Writing – Weak
Speaking – Weak

PET: Minimum B1 required

Listening – Borderline
Reading – Borderline
Writing – Borderline
Speaking – Borderline

Students should note that the TOEIC testing system has been removed from the list of approved tests. From 12 August 2010 you will no longer be able to use a TOEIC test result to get a CAS from your sponsor and apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student visa.

Ban on Bangladeshi Visa Applications to be Lifted Soon

Alan Duncan, the Conservative Minister of State for International Development has announced that the Bangladeshi visa ban is to be lifted soon, during a visit to the country.

Mr Duncan described the process of solving the problems that led to the UK student visa ban as being soon to be resolved during a meeting with Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Tier 4 (General) Student Visa ban first came into place in January 2010 and has caused much angst amongst Bangladeshi students. Mr Duncan is the first MP from the UK’s Conservative-Liberal coalition government and has stressed his Government’s desire to increase their ties with Bangladesh in a range of areas. Poverty reduction was a key policy for Mr Duncan, as well as development of Bangladesh in general and would be a focus of his government’s term.

Various challenges that Bangladesh now faces were discussed during the meeting: climate change, education, health, poverty reduction, sanitation and corruption. Dr Dipu Moni claims Bangladesh will be the most affected country of climate change and has tried to secure British help.
She apprised the British minister about various steps taken by the Bangladesh government for alleviating poverty and improvement of education and health sectors.

Referring to the government’s efforts to make the Anti- Corruption Commission more affective, she said the present government has been able to control corruption to a great extent.

Bangladesh’s foreign minister congratulated the new UK government on winning the election and expressed hope that ties between Dhaka and London would be strengthened in the coming days, months and years.

English UK wins High Court Judicial Review case on English Language Courses under the Points Based Visa System

More than 3,000 jobs and over £600 million a year in foreign earnings have been saved for the UK economy by a High Court judgement on which international students can come to the UK.

English UK has today won its case in the High Court against the last Home Secretary’s decision to raise the level of English which students must have before they can get a UK visa to learn the language here.

On March 3 2010, the level was raised from elementary to intermediate (from A1 to B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) for students who wanted to take courses of longer than six months and so needed a General Student Visa. They could no longer study on a course at a lower level than B2, roughly equivalent to A Level. In effect, this meant that they had to have a good standard of English before they could come to the UK to learn it.

The change was not directly put before Parliament, but was made through a paragraph in an appendix to the immigration rules which gave the UK Border Agency (UKBA) the blanket power to specify the minimum academic level of course which students can come to the UK to study on the General Student visa (GSV).

In his written judgement, Mr Justice Foskett said anything which “changed materially” the criteria of entry for overseas students must be done through a change in the rules, and not through a change in the guidance.

He agreed with counsel for English UK that a recent ruling from the Court of Appeal, on another immigration case, also applied to the way the language requirement was changed.

The rationale for the judgment in the Pankina case, Mr Justice Foskett said, was that ‘a provision that reflects a substantive criterion for eligibility for admission or leave to remain must be the subject of a process that involves a true Parliamentary scrutiny’ (his emphasis). The increase in the level of English was not in fact subject to Parliamentary process, but done through a change in administrative guidance.

On this, Mr Justice Foskett said: ‘I do not doubt that the changed approach in the new guidance does operate to change materially the substantive criteria for entry for foreign students who wish to study English in the UK, and…that cannot be achieved by a change in guidance – it must be achieved through the medium of a rule change.’

He went on to conclude that ‘extrinsic guidance cannot be used…to make a material or substantive change in existing immigration policy without the negative resolution procedure set out in section 3 (2) of the 1971 Immigration Act being implemented’.

Tony Millns, Chief Executive of English UK, which represents 440 fully-accredited English language centres, said: “This judgement upholds our basic case that the Home Secretary was wrong to introduce a substantive change in the entry criteria for GSV students without laying that change before Parliament.

“We have asked the court to rule that the English language requirement must now revert to what it was before 3 March, in other words students must be at level A1 to take an English language course at A2. This will give our 440 member centres some immediate help since many of them faced losing a damaging number of students this summer and autumn.”

He added: “We brought this case as a last resort, and will now seek to discuss with UKBA ways in which we can help formulate a more sensible policy which our members can support and which will contribute to immigration control. Genuine colleges have no desire to enrol people who are not genuine students. We are pleased that Mr

Justice Foskett saw the merits of our case and we believe that his decision is good for the UK economy, to which the English language sector contributes about £1.5 billion in foreign earnings each year.”

English UK’s case was led by Nichola Carter of Penningtons Solicitors LLP and Judith Farbey of Doughty Street Chambers. Commenting on the case, Nichola Carter, immigration partner at Penningtons, said: “Creating an immigration system which both denies entry to those with unlawful intentions and allows the UK to retain its reputation for world-class English language teaching is a complex process involving decisions of cultural and economic importance. This ruling confirms that parliament must be included in decisions which will significantly change the immigration system. In the months between the implementation of this unlawful policy and the hearing of this case, English UK continuously offered its assistance in creating a policy which was effective, sensible and lawful, and maintains that offer now.”

This post was submitted by worldenron.

English UK Challenges the UK Government to a Legal Fight

English UK, the body that represents English languages schools in the UK, has mounted a legal challenge, urging the UK Government to scrap new Tier 4 rules introduced by the previous Labour Government.

With fears that the UK economy could lose up to £1.4 billion and the dole queue could grow that little bit longer, English UK have sought a Judicial Review, focused on then-home secretary Alan Johnson’s decision to prevent beginner’s language learners from studying in the UK.

The new tier 4 rules were announced earlier this year and were a direct response to growing public and media angst surrounding illegal immigration. This new Tier 4 rule was announced only days after a terrorist tried to blow up a flight to America on Christmas Day, despite the suspect being a student at a highly reputable UK university. And he was radicalised in the UK, so the new Tier 4 English is both perverse and unjust.

This new Tier 4 rule was introduced at a time of a clampdown on the education system, with deep cuts to University support and the suspension of all visa applications from entire countries and reasons, seriously damaging enrolment figures.

English UK described the unique situation now in place here – where you can’t study the English language in England if you are a beginner – as “an absurdity”. They add that their request for a Judicial Review is also because they claim the former Home Secretary acted unlawfully, as he did not put these new Tier 4 rules before Parliament, as required by the UK’s constitution.

English UK’s concern is valid; as many as 100,000 students will be deterred from coming to the UK to study, resulting in losses to the economy of £1.4 billion. Such an impact, English UK argues, would not justify the new rule introduced.

“It’s clearly absurd requiring students to know English before they come here to study it,” said Tony Milns, chief executive of English UK, “We are already seeing evidence from agents, who book students onto courses, that they are saying the UK doesn’t want students anymore.”

Milns said his association would suspend its legal action if the government backed down and reconsidered.

A Home Office spokesman said: “These changes were made in the best interests of the UK and we will robustly defend them in court if necessary. The new rules will ensure those who come to the UK to study English are genuine students and are not exploiting the system to work illegally.”

“Raising the level of English means students must demonstrate a commitment to learning English before they come. We welcome international students but there should be no doubt that we will come down hard on those who flout the rules.”Mark Lindsay, managing director of St Giles International, an English language college with sites around the UK, said: “With a forthcoming general election in mind, the government wants to be seen as ‘tough on immigration’. This is a sledgehammer to crack a nut and will exacerbate already severe problems of unemployment in the UK.”

He added: “The UK Border Agency has been encouraged by the government to clamp down on ‘bogus colleges’. But a number of wrongly accused colleges had recently had their accreditation restored.”

MPs press UK Government to drop new Tier 4 rules

Members of Parliament (MPs from parties covering the spectrum of UK politics, have called on the new UK Coalition Government to drop new Tier 4 rules deemed “flawed and rushed”, first introduced by the ousted Labour Government; the requirement of overseas students needing to take an English test if they wished to study in the UK.

A total of 14 MPs – from Labour and the Green Party, to the Conservatives and Lib Dems – signed the motion stating the new Tier 4 rules would deter 100,000 student migrants from coming to the UK.

Adding weight to this swell in opinion is a judicial review requested by English UK in order to force the new Government to drop the Tier 4 rules, which English UK called “barmy.” English UK are taking action to protect the members they represent; the UK economy could lose up to £1.4 billion and see another 3,400 people made unemployed. English UK believe that the changes are irrational given the adverse effect they will have on English language centres and other stakeholders and the absence of any evidence to suggest that they will prevent abuse of the immigration system.

English UK released the following statement through their lawyers:

“The application for judicial review was issued on 22 March 2010. Just two days later, Collins J took the unusual step of granting permission before the Secretary of State had filed an acknowledgement of service or summary grounds of defence. The order granting permission was made in unusually forthright terms, with the judge stating: “It is difficult to see how the extension of the level of English to those who come to study English can reasonably be justified.” Although permission was stayed to allow the respondent to argue why it should not have been granted, the Secretary of State has now confirmed that permission is not opposed.”

They added:

“The claim is brought on a number of grounds. English UK are arguing that the provision in the Immigration Rules (para. 120(a) of Appendix A) which allows the UKBA to set minimum academic standards for Tier 4 students in sponsor guidance, as opposed to in the Rules themselves, is unlawful.”

The judge, Collins J noted, when granting permission:

“The use of guidance in circumstances where its effect is to render entry for students more difficult is arguably a misuse of the powers contained in the 1971 Act.”

The full Early Day Motion laid before Parliament by Stephen Lloyd MP on 2 June 2010 reads:


Lloyd, Stephen

That this House is alarmed by the previous administration’s ruling of 10 March 2010 that raised detrimentally the entry criteria for foreign students wishing to study the English language in this country in an attempt to deter bogus students; notes that it was both a rushed and flawed alteration, including a requirement for students to already possess intermediate level English, which is equivalent to A level English, before being allowed to even study English in the UK; considers that it will discourage an estimated 100,000 legitimate international students from coming to the UK to study; further notes that the professional body, English UK, estimates that £400 million per annum and 3,400 jobs will be lost from the teaching sector and £1 billion from the university sector, who take around 46 per cent. of their international students from those who already study English in the UK; further considers that it will have a profound impact on the vital £17 million per annum which foreign students bring to the economy in Eastbourne; and calls on the Government and the new Immigration Minister to abolish this inexplicable legislation in order to protect the UK’s standing as a world leader in the area, noting that, if the Government does not rescind this legislation, other English-speaking countries will benefit while the UK’s vital home grown industry will suffer.