A new list considering countries as “low risk” has been generated by the UK government which showcased the omission of India from that particular list with a motive to organize a simpler process of visa application in UK universities. It leads to the exclusion of Indian students from the relaxation list. With the changes made in the immigration policy it has been announced that there will be a relaxation of the category named Tier 4 visa for international students from nearly 25 countries which exclude India. The announced list comprises the name of benefitted countries like US, China, New Zealand, Bahrain, Indonesia and Canada etc. The students belonging from these countries will need not to go through strict regulations and skill requirement for the visa. But Indian students cannot catch this benefit as they are ejected from this latest expended list. It means that Indian students who are enrolling or applying for such similar courses will undergo strict checks and requirement of documents.
The disappointment has been expressed from National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK at India’s omission from the list, which said it clearly categorizes the Indian students as “high risk”. The exemplary body for Indian students in the UK expressed that it was not at all fair that Indian students are being treated contrastingly from Chinese or other nationals on the extended list. According to Lord Karan Bilimoria, the Indian-origin entrepreneur and President of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), it is an “insult” to India and another example of Britain’s “economically illiterate and hostile attitude to immigration.” Though he welcomes the changes made to visa policy but also concerned about the lengthy process Indian students have to deal with during the process of applying visa.
It’s been announced that these latest changes will take effect on July 6. According to a source Caroline Nokes the Immigration Minister of UK said that this expanded list will support in enhancing the UK’s offer to overseas students. A spokesperson of UK’s home office stated that they welcome Indian students to study in UK’s world-leading educational institutions. In 2017 Indian students were third largest in receiving the visas which is much greater than that of previous year. Nearly 60,000 thousand Indian students were granted visas in 2017. “This change demonstrates the continued focus on improving the U.K.’s offer to international students,” said Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes in a statement to the House of Commons on Friday.
Students in the extended list will be facing a reduced bar of documentation at the time of visa application in tier 4 visa category. According to unknown source on being questioned about why India had been excluded from this latest list, a spokesperson stated that” We issue more visas to students from India than any other country except China and the USA.” They further said that nearly 90 percent of Indian students are granted UK visas when they apply one. Statistics suggests the figure raise from 86 percent in 2014 and just 83 percent in the year 2013. The acceleration can gap can be seen jumping up from 50 percent in 2010 to 90 percent in 2016.
As per the statement of UK Home Office this extended list will prove to be a quite easy way for the students to annex education in UK. On the other hand the Indian students will be away from catching the benefits related to easy process in visa application which can be a matter of concern for the students as studying in UK has always been the preference among students.