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UK to tighten student visa rules to check immigration

LONDON: Britain will review its student visa system to tighten rules in a bid to control growing levels of immigration, said Immigration Minister Damian Green on Monday. The number of non-EU students coming to Britain has jumped by a third to more than 300,000 last year, prompting the government to order a shake-up of the visa system which it said was open to “significant abuse”. Home Office figures on Monday showed the number of students increased by more than 75,000 totaling 313,000. The influx was exacerbated by students bringing with them 31,000 dependants, the department said. That compared with 235,000 students and 25,000 dependants in the previous year. Immigration Minister Damian Green said a “thorough evaluation” of the visa system would be carried out over the coming weeks and months to tighten the rules further – part of a broader policy to control levels of immigration. Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to reduce non-EU immigration to “tens of thousands” per year instead of the hundreds of thousands seen entering Britain under the Labour government. Green said the government wanted to attract the brightest and the best to the UK, and welcomed legitimate visas. reuters

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