Even in the unlikely event of the United Kingdom not exiting from the European Union by 29 March 2019, an immigration bill, which is to be introduced soon, may benefit students from India eager to pursue their education in Britain.
Expected to be introduced in the House of Commons in the latter part of 2018, the bill may see an amendment to exclude foreign students from net migration figures, protecting them from moves to limit immigration. It is said that hurdles for them are already being relaxed.
The Conservative Party since coming to power in 2010 has been trying to reduce net migration, affecting students from India and other non-EU member states.
After students began being considered migrants and migration started being restricted, the number of Indian students entering Britain is said to have almost halved since 2010. This has, in fact, created a perception that the UK is no longer a welcoming destination for international students.
All the parties in the UK seemed to reach a consensus that non-EU students should be not included in the net migration figures. Meanwhile, official reports revealed that most international students come back to the UK after studies and, therefore, there was a requirement to project that the country would continue to be global in its outlook after Brexit. In addition, if Theresa May government wants to remain in power, it has to get support from other parties as well.
A spokesperson for Universities UK, a representative body for all universities in Britain, was quoted by Hindustan Times as telling it that two official reports published in 2017 summer stated that the visa compliance by foreign students was very high. According to that official, the number of students who overstay their visas were minuscule.
The official added that polling showed that the UK public does not view foreign students as long-term migrants, but instead as temporary visitors, who contribute to their economy. The spokesperson said this was now an opportunity to ensure that the UK after Brexit would attract eligible international students.
The person said that if their country wanted to be the choice destination for overseas staff and students, it was crucial for them to send a welcoming message to people from all across the globe.
Though excluding non-EU students from the migration figures may not mean that they would return to the post-study work visa regime that was removed in 2012, certain measures are being taken to make it convenient for the students to seek work in the UK after they complete their studies.
If you are looking to study in the UK, get in touch with Y-Axis, a renowned consultancy for immigration services.