Foreign students can stay in UK for extra yearJuly 30th, 2008 - 3:09 pm ICT by ANI
London, July 30 (ANI): Foreign students will be able to work in Britain or an extra year after graduating before being sent home, ministers will say.
They will also unveil measures to stop bogus colleges, which are used as fronts to allow illegal immigrants to enter the country.
Students are by far the biggest category for long-term visitors to Britain, with 1.6million visas handed out in the past five years, The Telegraph reported.
In 2006, 309,000 foreign students arrived here, up nine per cent in a year, and more than double the number of foreigners who were granted work permits.
Under the present rules, foreign students can work for 12 months after graduating.
Liam Byrne, the Immigration Minister, is expected to say today that this will be increased to two years from 2009 to give foreign students more time to work here legally before going home.
Last night, the Tories said that the plans were a back-door way of offering an amnesty to those who overstay their visa.
Damian Green, the Shadow Immigration Minister, said: This looks like a stealth amnesty for over stayers. These days ministers like to talk tough on immigration but as so often their actions do not live up to their rhetoric.
Earlier this year it emerged that immigration officers had been ordered to stop deporting foreign students who overstay their visas. A leaked memo suggested they are not regarded as a high enough priority.
Immigration bosses have been accused of focusing their deportation priorities on cases that attract media attention such as foreign prisoners, while ignoring thousands of other illegal immigrants.
Mr Byrne, who will unveil the plans with Bill Rammell, the Further Education Minister, will also detail measures to stop bogus colleges. (ANI)
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