Home Secretary announces amendments to immigration policy

Posted: 12/12/2012


The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has given a key speech to the Policy Exchange think tank in London outlining a number of changes to immigration policy. Amid concerns that current policy is restrictive and deterring individuals from wanting to come to the UK to work, study or invest, Mrs May used the speech to demonstrate that the UK is still open for business. The main changes include:

  • easing documentary requirements for Chinese visitors, extending an express visa service and introducing a new passport pass-back scheme for visa applicants;
  • extending the exceptionally talented route by adding a further 1,000 places for foreign MBA graduates to allow them to stay in the UK to set up businesses;
  • all PhD students who have completed their studies will be allowed to stay in the UK for longer to find skilled work or set up as an entrepreneur within the rules. From April 2013 all such students will be allowed to stay for 12 months after completing their PhD before having to set up a business or find a job;
  • more people applying for visas to study in the UK will be subject to face-to-face interviews with border staff, rather than just paper checks. Mrs May said that a pilot scheme of face-to-face interviews, which was set up last year to interview ‘high-risk student visa applicants’, had been successful and therefore would be extended. More than 100,000 people are expected to be interviewed from April 2013;
  • the Government will work with UK Trade & Investment to extend the graduate entrepreneur scheme to the best overseas talent.

To view the speech in its entirety, please click here.


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