No change in visa policy for students from India, says UK

The United Kingdom clarified that Indian students would face no change in the visa application even as New Delhi takes note of British decision to exclude Indian students from a new list of countries considered “low risk” in order to facilitate an easier visa application process to UK universities.

“Indian students will experience no change as a result of this announcement – there is no limit on the number of genuine Indian students who can come to study in the UK. The fact that the year ending March 2018 saw a 30% increase in Tier 4 visas issued to Indian students is proof that the current system allows for strong growth in this area”, said the spokesperson of British High Commission in New Delhi.

On a question why Indian students were not part of the “low risk” category, the spokesperson said “This was a routine review of the Appendix H list conducted by the Home Office, which is regularly updated due to the fact that countries’ risk profiles change over time. Analysis of objective data has shown that India remains below the level required to consider a change at the current time.”

In changes to its immigration policy tabled in Parliament on Friday, the UK Home Office announced a relaxation of the Tier 4 visa category for overseas students from around 25 countries. The list includes countries like the US, Canada and New Zealand, the Home Office added China, Bahrain and Serbia as countries from where students would face reduced checks.

Commenting on the development, an Indian official said “We have taken note of the recent announcements. We always maintained that the easy mobility of students and professionals are an important aspect of ties.”

Lord Karan Bilimoria, Indian-origin entrepreneur and President of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) described the move of not including India in the “low risk” group as an “insult” to India and another example of Britain’s “economically illiterate and hostile attitude”.

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