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Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Volume 508: debated on Monday 22 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria he plans to use to determine whether a Tier 4 visa sponsor is highly trusted; and for what reasons all Tier 4 visa sponsors should not be considered highly trusted. (321945)

The criteria for Highly Trusted Sponsors will be published on 22 March. The scheme will be implemented on 6 April. The UK Border Agency has consulted with the education sector on the development of the criteria.

Highly trusted sponsors will be required to meet tough new additional criteria and demonstrate that they have a track record of success in terms of bringing genuine students to the UK. These guidelines are being introduced for sponsors who wish to recruit international students in categories where there is a higher risk of abuse.

In addition, all sponsors will be required to meet robust new minimum standards regarding the recruitment and retention of students.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department examined visa requirements for students wishing to enter other countries with a substantial English language teaching sector in its recent revision of the Tier 4 points-based system. (322001)

Yes, as part of the review of Tier 4, the student tier of the points-based system, officials examined the visa requirements in place for students in a number of comparable countries.