Immigration news in 2009 was largely dominated by the introduction of Tier 4 of the
points based system in March, which saw a rush of pre-Tier 4 student visa applications
creating a backlog which took several months to clear.
Around two thousand educational providers were registered as Tier 4 Sponsors for the first time, after spending most of 2008 going through the strict application and vetting process.
Thousands of colleges failed to make the grade, and were refused licences, or missed the
deadline at the start of Tier 4. Other colleges later had licences withdrawn by the UK
Border Agency, leaving hundreds of students unable to come to the UK having paid fees
Despite the teething problems a record number of student visas are reported to have been
issued under Tier 4, largely due to the simplification of the requirements resulting in a
reduction in the number of refusals.
Universities and colleges have for years been calling for a student entry clearance system which relies on factual information to qualify for a visa, which the government have duly delivered.
Despite this, the government continue to come under fire over foreign student following revelations that suspected terrorists were in the UK on student visas. They are now being accused of making it too easy to obtain a student visa!
Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas announced that overseas students are worth a staggering \u00a38 billion to the UK economy, which the country has welcomed during a worldwide recession in 2009.
Employers were also busy getting to grips with Tier 2, for skilled workers, introduced at the end of 2008. Meanwhile enforcement teams have been busy dishing out \u00a310000 fines to employers who flout the immigration rules on employing overseas nationals.
The Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 received Royal Assent (became law) on 21 July 2009, signalling major changes in the way the UK grants permanent residency and citizenship to migrants.
The concept of \u2018earned citizenship\u2019 or \u2018earning the right to stay\u2019 was born, meaning that
migrants will no longer be automatically granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or
The government introduced a large number of immigration rule changes this year,
including automatic bans of up to 10 years for making a false statement or fraudulent
immigration application, which can be found on the UK Border Agency website.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Studying in the UK, Settlement,
Citizenship, Sponsorship, extending Work Permits, Visa or anappeal against a refusal
The UK government is radically changing the route to British citizenship under a new system of \u2018earned citizenship\u2019. Until now migrants have largely taken for granted that they would gain a British passport or permanent residence by virtue of the amount of time spent in the UK.
But this is all about to change as the UK Border Agency introduces the radical new concept of earning citizenship as part of the biggest immigration shake-up for sixty years.
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