The report released on the 11th of September by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) officially concludes what many have had a hunch for years: international students offer significant economic benefit to the nation of the United Kingdom.

According to the report, a significant portion of the contribution by international students go to public finances. One of the studies cited in the report shows that students from outside the EU contribute an annual amount of 5000 pounds MORE per head than the average British student.

On a more subjective note, the report also claims that the home students tend to be fond of having foreign classmates. Overall, it appears that “the benefits of international students outweigh any negative impact on the educational experience of domestic students”, according to the report.
Our Solicitor at The Smart Move2UK, Mrs. Falguni Y Parekh, along with the entire immigration law industry, is eager to see how the government responds to the recommendations by MAC. The report advocates for there to be no cap on the number of Tier 4 Student visas issued. Along with that suggestion, there is a list of recommendations published in the report:
– The time frame for switching from a Tier 4 student visa to a Tier 2 Work Visa should be increased, in order to make it possible for students to switch as soon as the job offer has been made.
– The time period of the leave to remain in the UK after the course of study has ended must be increased to 6 months for all Masters Level students.
– There must be an automatic grant of a one year leave to remain for all PhD students after completion of their program.
– Tier 4 Student Visa holders should be allowed to switch to a Tier 2 Work Visa in the 2 years after graduation, even if the applicant might not be physically in the UK in the said time period.

Mrs. Parekh does not believe that the recommendations of the report are strong enough to cause any significant changes as the report by MAC does not really provide any bold new measures, other than simply highlighting the benefits gained by the nation through international students.
She states, “I have worked with a vast number of educational institutes and education providers and my experience is that the education sector’s compliance with immigration laws is extremely strong. Therefore, it is of essence that the recommendations given out to the government regarding student visas, must offer a bold new approach to post-study work opportunities, and must advocate for the removal of international students from the net migration targets.”

How exactly will things turn out post this report will only be clear by the launch of the next big report to be launched this month by MAC: a report on post-Brexit immigration policy for the UK. The report is due to be published on the 18th of September, and will play a crucial role in the government’s approach to International students and the Tier 4 Student Visa.

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