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UKBA to be “split in two” after backlog revealed

The UK Home Secretary has announced that the UK Border Agency is to be scrapped and split into two, after it was revealed the body faced a backlog of cases that could take 24 years to tackle. Speaking in Parliament today Theresa May said she would split the agency into an immigration and visa service, and an immigration law enforcement organisation.

UK Border Agency faces “24 years of backlogs”

The UK Border Agency is failing to get to grips with student visa processing delays as it struggles with a backlog of cases that could take 24 years to tackle. In a report released Monday, the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee claimed that only 14% of Tier 4 visa applications were processed by UKBA within the promised target time in Q3, down from 28%.

UK Home Office: no change on migrant count

In an explosive exchange between Professor Edward Acton, Vice-Chancellor at UEA and Glyn Williams, Director of Migration Policy at the Home Office this week, Williams countered criticism over a mixed message on migration policy and said UK HE should move away from an obsession with eliminating students from the migrant count.

UK: Visa interviews rolled out, PhD students can stay

UK Home Secretary Theresa May today announced more major changes to the immigration system to ensure that student visas are not a "backdoor route" to working in Britain. More than 100,000 prospective visa applicants will now be interviewed. Yet May also relaxed conditions for those at the top of the academic tree – PhD and MBA graduates will find it easier to stay and seek work.

HEFCE predicts 24% rise in non-EU income to 2015

UK universities expect their revenue from international students to grow by 24.5% in the next three years, according to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, however there is a "significant risk" demand could fall due to UK visa policy. In cash terms, the sector is expecting overseas fee income to rise from £2,513 million to £3,459 million by 2014-15.

UKBA warns of “unscrupulous Indian agents”

The UK Border Agency has warned Indian students against using unscrupulous education agents to book courses in the UK, saying that agents and students involved in fraud will face action from the Indian authorities. In a statement on the British High Commission website in India, UKBA also said students should avoid using agents for visa purposes altogether.

UK to tighten permanent residency rules in 2016

From 2016 non-EU nationals will have to earn at least £35,000 per annum to apply for permanent residency in the UK, it was confirmed this week. The measure, which is part of new immigration rules announced in February, is designed to “break the link between coming to the UK to work and staying forever”, but could further damage the UK’s appeal as a study destination.