Stricter student visa rules may cost UK $3.8bn

The British economy might suffer the loss of up to $3.8bn as tougher student visa rules introduced by the UKBA start to take effect. This has been reflected in a report commissioned by Immigration Minister Damian Green.

The report estimates that income generated from fees will be cut by $270m over four years. About $3.2bn will be lost because students registered at private colleges have lost their right to work part-time and add to the economy.

An impact assessment report by the Home Office says the new rules will discourage bogus students and improve compliance. But the expected 230,000 decrease in the numbers of applicants for the Tier 4 student visa from outside the EU over the next four years will have wider costs.

Private English language training providers are also expected to see applicants go down by 13,000 in 2014; with a net loss of $4.8m. The providers had 21,000 Tier 4 visa applicants in 2010.

The report predicts that the resolve to lift up the minimum level of English proficiency for students from non-English-speaking countries who want to study on degree courses will cut applicants by 11,000 per year.

Tighter student visa rules now in force