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Study Visas

Volume 629: debated on Monday 16 October 2017

12. What proportion of international students in the UK have been found to have overstayed their study visa. (901148)

Exit check analysis shows that 97% of students whose visas expired in 2016-17 were recorded as having left in time. That is good evidence that our reforms, from 2010 onwards, to tackle abuse in the education sector have worked.

If or, as seems likely, when Britain crashes out of the EU with no deal, what will happen at the point of exit to international students here on the Erasmus+ programme, many of whom are in my constituency of Cardiff Central?

As I said earlier, there is no limit on the number of students. I am not going to predict the outcome post our negotiations but, as I have said to other colleagues, we are working to get a good deal for the United Kingdom and our partners in Europe.

Applications for international students and other immigration applications cost hundreds of pounds, and errors are common. When the Home Office makes such errors, it puts constituents and citizens in unnecessary distress, but there are no consequences for the Department getting critical decisions wrong time and again. Will the Minister explain where the profits from visa and other visa-related applications are going and how much of the fees received pay for these services? What will he do to improve such a terrible service?

That was an extremely scholarly academic inquiry to which an extremely pithy response is required—not beyond the competence of a graduate of the University of Buckingham in my constituency, I feel sure.

I will do my best to rise to the challenge, Mr Speaker. As I said earlier, the immigration system’s visas and charges are as per the Immigration Act 2014. I would challenge the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Afzal Khan) a little bit because no one has come to me about mistakes in how we deal with student visas. We are encouraging students from all over the world to come here.