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Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there are plans to change the student visa process; and if he will make a statement. (301427)

There are no current plans to change the student visa process introduced on 31 March 2009 with the introduction of tier 4 of the points based system. A review of certain aspects of the system was announced on 12 November.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for entry to the UK under the points-based immigration system had been made by overseas students on the latest date for which figures are available; how many such applications were granted, and in respect of how many such applications the customer service standards set by his Department in relation to such applications were not met. (303281)

The number of visa applications for entry as a student under tier 4 of the points based system that were (a) received, and (b) refused, since the implementation of tier 4 on 31 March to September 2009 was 245,915 and 36,434, respectively.

Processing times for tier 4 applications against UK Border Agency customer service standards are shown in the following table.

Information about processing times for the various categories of visa applications at each of our visa application centres overseas is available on the Visa Services website

PBS tier 4 visa application processing times


Customer service standard

Global processing times April to October2009

Not more than three weeks



Not more than six weeks



Not more than 12 weeks




These data are unpublished and should be treated as provisional.


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