Young bear brunt of migration policies

As the Coalition Government continues in its reckless pursuit of cutting immigration, young people are getting a disproportionately raw deal from the policy twists and turns emanating from the Home Office. In the past few weeks we have witnessed the collapse of the curb on young married couples obtaining visas to live in the UK, but that has been the only bright star in a dark and gloomy sky.


Young people from Afghanistan face repatriation back to one of the most dangerous and volatile countries on the face of the planet, as the Government introduces an expensive scheme that will shave around 100 off the annual net migration figures. Teaming up with the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, this scheme is a breathtaking £845,000 snub to people fleeing a wartorn country. There will be little to show for it when this scheme finishes, but a few hundred young Afghans will be thrown into the turmoil that awaits them back home.

The Government is currently considering what will effectively amount to a raise in the income required to sponsor family members. This also looks set to hurt young couples  –  it’s no secret that younger workers are generally on lower wages.

And last month a report by the Children’s Society hit out at the huge number, 697, of children detained in degrading conditions at UK ports. More than a quarter  of these children were travelling alone. The effects of such treatment one can only imagine, are harrowing. This comes in the aftermath of promises to end child detention made firstly by the Liberal Democrats and then endorsed by the Coalition Government as a whole. This is more than a target missed, its actually an abject abuse of Government power.

Unwelcome trends

Now it’s the turn of college and university students.

UKCISA have surveyed over 5000 overseas students currently studying in the UK. The findings of this research are cause for some concern. In a word, the UK has become unwelcoming to overseas students and this is impacting upon the income of universities and the wider UK economy. In a sector that’s worth £10 billion a year, this is a worrying progression.

UKCISA revealed a number of widespread problems facing (often young) people studying in the UK from overseas including:

  • Changes to the rules in the middle of admissions cycles plays havoc with admissions departments in Universities, but also spreads confusion amongst applicants.
  • Massive fee increases by around 50% since 2009.
  • The cost of other aspects of the application process are also soaring, with the acquisition of correct documentation costing up to £500 more over the past couple of years.
  • The need for many applicants to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to submit biometric information, and some had to make such journeys on several occasions.

And as we’ve previously explained, whilst the government make a big noise about “bogus” colleges, their approach to dealing with them (and many colleges who have no hint of being “bogus”) has  a devastating effect on (often young) genuine students. There will be more from students at private colleges published on this blog in the near future.

Meanwhile, the Government’s message to prospective immigrants gets broadcast loudly around the world: “You better not be poor. Or young. Or both.”

About jcwi

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants is a key campaigning voice in the field of immigration, asylum and nationality law and policy. It is completely independent from government funding, remaining entirely free from government influence. View all posts by jcwi

2 responses to “Young bear brunt of migration policies

  • Welcome « Family Immigration Alliance

    […] Young bear brunt of migration policies […]

  • Marionsan

    All in all, UK is making all possible to make sure international students go study elsewhere. They are now more likely to choose Australia and US as their choice to study English and undergraduate degrees. The smaller number will still come to do one year of post graduate but then they will be forced to leave as no post study options exists. Canada for example is giving to students the rautomatic right for PSW after they completed their studies there.

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