The UK is a popular study destination for international students. Students from around the world come to study in British universities and colleges for a variety of reasons. Some come to learn English, while others choose to pursue a degree in subjects like science and technology. There is also a large community of students who come to the UK for postgraduate studies. Many of these students go on to work in the country after completing their course, either in their field of study or in another industry.
The number of students from outside the EU continues to grow, reflecting global growth in international student numbers. These figures are a cause of concern for some members of the public, who believe that the UK is being overwhelmed by immigration, particularly from countries with poor labour laws and economic performance. However, the government argues that the increase in students is beneficial for the economy and the UK has a responsibility to offer opportunities to those who are interested in coming here to work.
Student immigration to the United Kingdom is complex and varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for. You will need to ensure that you have a university that is licensed by the Home Office and that you meet all the requirements for your visa. Applicants can apply for a student visa if they are aged 16 or over and have been accepted to a university in the UK. Once you have received a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS), you will need to fill out the online application on the UK government website and pay the visa fee. You will also need to pay the immigration health surcharge, which covers access to the NHS for the duration of your stay in the UK.
Some students may be able to bring their family with them on a student visa, depending on the length of the course and whether it is sponsored by an education institution. This will require you to provide evidence of relationship and proof of financial support for any dependants. You will also have to pay the visa fee and the immigration health surcharge for each dependant.
After completing their studies, most student visa holders extend their visas or switch to a graduate visa. This allows them to remain in the UK for two years and gives them permission to look for work.
According to the government, more than 350,000 people who are not European citizens have a valid visa to enter the United Kingdom, and nearly half of these were studying at an approved institution. The country’s record levels of immigration have caused concern among some members of the public, especially given recent events such as the war in Ukraine and evacuation in Hong Kong. The government has made it clear that it is committed to reducing net migration and is working to address concerns about the impact of immigration on jobs, housing and social cohesion.