Conflicting Message from Britain-Indian Students Welcome but Not Considered Low-Risk
The UK government has not included India in a new list of countries considered “low risk”, which facilitates an easier visa application process to the country’s universities. This decision has resulted in a severe backlash from Indian students who will now be subjected to intense scrutiny during their student visa application.
India is among the top three countries from where overseas students come to study at UK universities. India ranks just after China and US, according to latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) data. The UK Home Office announced a relaxation of the Tier 4 visa category for overseas students from around 25 countries.
The list already covers countries like the US, Canada, and New Zealand, added names of China, Bahrain, and Serbia as countries from where if students would have to go through reduced scrutiny for education, financial and English language skill requirements to study at British universities. The changes will come into effect on July 6. These new changes aim at making the life of an international student hassle-free in the UK.
Sanam Arora, Founder, and chairperson, National Indian Students, and Alumni Union UK while talking to The Logical Indian said “It is important to note that the decision to not include India in the low-risk category does not impact the current application process for Indian students, i.e. they are no worse off in physical terms. However, the message that is going out through this is hugely negative.”
She further added “This is not the first time Indian students have negatively suffered as a result of flawed immigration policymaking – we have had the huge bogus college incident, the ETS TOEIC scandal and of course the removal of the post-study work visa; all of which have perhaps most severely impacted Indian students given the huge volumes that used to come to UK to study.”
“The message of “you’re not welcome” is what students will walk away with rather than the actual message that more or less everyone in the UK is agreed on – which is one of genuinely welcoming Indian students to the UK.” she mentions.
90% of Indian students get a visa approved
Last week, Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Y K Sinha, held a meeting with Sam Gyimah, UK’s minister for universities, and discussed plans for better and smoother student and faculty mobility between the two countries.
As per reports when asked why India had been omitted from this expanded list, The UK Home Office spokesperson said, “We welcome Indian students who want to come to the UK to study at our world-leading educational institutions. We issue more visas to students from India than any other country except China and the USA.”
They stressed on the data that 90 percent of Indian students who apply for a UK visa get approved, which is a rise from 86 percent in 2014 and 83 percent in 2013.
“In addition, the proportion of Indian students coming to study in the UK at a university has increased from around 50 percent in 2010 to around 90 percent in 2016. Indian student visa applications are up 30 percent on last year. We continue to have regular discussions with the Indian government on a range of issues including on visas and UK immigration policy,” the UK Home Office added.