UK Immigration post-Brexit: Overseas Students and the numbers Game

Can the UK Tory rebels push the UK government for better deal on International students? 

The UK Government’s aim to reduce net migration, post-Brexit, to below 100,000 a year will inevitably affect foreign students. Students from India have been particularly hard hit by the successive restrictions to further and High education in the UK. Restricting the number of foreign students would make it easier to achieve the target.

It is reported that 134,000 foreigner students arrived in Britain on Student Visas  in the 12 months to last September, during which net migration totalled 273,000.[1

However, Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, is facing a revolt from within her party who are adamant on exclusion of foreign students in the immigration figures. The reasons for the resistance to immigration restriction especially targeting foreign students, are given as follows:

  1. The Government’s proposed Policy is based on inaccurate student migration data.
  2. Plans to differentiate the visa regime for universities according to their “quality”  on the basis that that the “best” students should be accepted and its impact on reputable Universities that do not make this grade. 
  3. The reduction in overseas applications which will inevitably affect the education sector and the wider UK economy, as Higher education is one of UK’s most successful exports.
  4. Its affect on the UK’s international relations and trade (where the restrictions will have a disproportionate impact on certain countries such as India). 
  5. The Impact on the UK economy from Foreign students spending which increases revenue
  6. House of Lords Report on the “Higher Education and Research Bill Amendment: International students and the Lord Hannay amendment proposed to the Higher Education and Research Bill proposes to exclude students from the ‘economic migrants’ category (

The amendment has received cross party support.and is due to return to the House of commons by the third week of April.

The UK’s stance on “going global” post Brexit will be reflected in Government’s final decision on the policy of student visa restrictions. The politics behind international relations between UK and India and ambitions for increased trade will be in the backdrop of the paradox between India’s support of its students internationally. Further the challenges of India’s skilled working population working in the face of ever increasing UK immigration restrictions. Both the countries need to be on the same page. How can India and UK bilateral trade increase if the UK restricts the free movement of people in a globalised world, post-Brexit? 

Getting the right advice and assistance on UK immigration post-Brexit is vital. Lex Meridian offers a specialist UK immigration barrister led service in Delhi. If you need advice and assistance on a new application or a Visa refusal contact us today on Delhi  +91 11 41601800 ,  UK +44208123999  or Email us:



Tory rebels push government for better deal on overseas students-

May rebuffs pressure to exclude students from migration target-

Opinionated articles-

[1] Andrew Grice, Theresa May faces rebellion from her own MPs over foreign student numbers, The Independent, April 15, 2017 (

Weekly Indian Law & Legal Sector Updates 29th April 2017

Our weekly round up on Indian legal developments and the law.


Poor English results in SC setting aside Himachal HC order

Indian lawyers updates

The Tribune reported that an order of Himachal Pradesh High Court was set aside by the Indian Supreme Court as it was incomprehensible. The order of the High Court was remanded back to it for re-drafting. The message to Indian lawyers and the judiciary: keep it simple. 

Read the full article on The Tribune



The right to privacy & Aadhar Card issue needs to be settled by court: Attorney-General

Livemint reported that India’s Attorney General’s (A-G) comments on the legal issues of Aadhaar card. The A-G addressed the importance of Aadhaar in  social welfare schemes, the right to privacy, the criticism of Aadhaar and collection of biometrics and  the role of the Unique Identification Authority of India.

Read more about the interview   on Livemint



Indian Goods & Service Tax reform “an act of courage”: IMF chief

India Today reports that the IMF Chief Christine Lagarde appreciated the Indian Government’s GST reform aimed at the creation of a uniform market by substituting the local levies with a federal tax regime. The political will of the present government in bringing the Indian bankruptcy law and demonetization was also acknowledged.

Full Article on India Today



Corporate Affairs Ministry amends Indian Companies Act and adds new rules

Indian Corporate and Company law sees a major shift with the newly notified Section 234 of The Companies Act 2013. This widens the scope and ambit of mergers between Indian and Foreign companies. The Business World reported the change in law and its implications on the Indian Companies and the Corporate sector.

Find the Notification on  and the Amendment to the rules on

Read about the impact on Business World

and in  The Economic Times



WhatsApp Privacy Policy: Govt states to SC its Working on a Data Protection policy. 

Bloomberg Quint reported that the Attorney General of India (A-G) requested the Supreme Court to postpone the hearing of the Whatsapp privacy policy matter as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is of formulating a comprehensive data protection framework, which will be finalised in a few months and could potentially affect the case.

Read a brief history of the matter on Bloomberg Quint



Trump order a future challenge for Indian immigration in the IT Sector 

The latest executive order of the US Government concerning immigration and the H-1B visa to further the ‘Hire American’ Policy and its impact on Indian IT firms’ hiring scheme in future. The Times of India report focuses on the immediate effect of the order and the profitability of the industry.

Full article on The Times of India



Indian Arbitration: CJI advocates ” zero govt. role”  in arbitration process

The Hindu reported Justice J.S. Khehar, the Chief Justice of India (CJI), who delivered a speech at the inaugural ceremony of the Engaging Asia Arbitration Summit. The CJI spoke on the increasing potential of India in International Commercial Arbitration in the continent and the promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods by the government and the judiciary.

Find the full article on The Hindu on this link:



India and the European Union continue talks and trade 

The Hindu reported the visit of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union to India. It reported that this will boost ties between India and EU which were impacted by the on going Italian Marines issue.  It also reported a possible relaunch of ‘Joint working groups’ in the sector of Science & Technology and Defence.

To



Mondelez India bribery case may see top guns face off in the US

The Economic Times reported that a team from the US Department of Justice may visit Mondelez India to investigate the 7-year-old bribery and corruption case against Mondelez Inc under the USForeign Corrupt Practices Act regime, against each other, since one of them left the department and has been hired by Mondelez to fight the case.
Read the details of the case on The Economic Times



Eight women’s panels seek stringent law on sham marriages by NRI’s

WebIndia123 reported that Women Commissions from 8 States of the country got together and insisted on a stricter law on the issue of sham marriages by Non Resident Indian bridegrooms at a national seminar organised jointly by the Punjab State Commission for Women and the National Commission for Women.

Find the full article on Webindia123



Outsourcing Woes: Indian IT firms facing more US lawsuits with changing business environment

There is a worrying trend in  lawsuits against Indian IT firms over alleged breaches of contract and delayed service delivery in the outsourcing and IT sectors.  This report by the Business Standard analyses the effect of changing dynamics on business leading to the increase in lawsuits against Indian Companies and Corporates in this sector.

Read the full article on Business Standard

The ‘Skype kids’: the effect of stringent UK immigration laws on Spouses

dreamstime_xl_20570591-300x138For British Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis  families are the closest relationships to their country of origin. It is therefore not surprising that second generation British Asian often marry and start their families with partners from these countries.

However, the increasingly stringent UK spouse visa requirements that the unless the household income of a British national is over £18,600 and £22,400 respectively, has led to arbitrary separation on married couples and their families.
Research by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) which was reported in the Guardian highlights how strict regulations are tearing families apart, and causing distress among children who are forced to skype their parents from overseas . The report cites the detrimental effect on children hindering their development. Tendencies are also being noted where the children are socially withdrawn, disobedient and are also having a hard time adjusting to school without their mothers.

Under the Rules, the incoming partner’s future cannot count towards meeting the threshold . Furthermore, wider family support cannot be taken into account.. The Government’s main failing is there inability to acknowledge the structure of Indian families. Spousal support for wives comes not only from the income that their husbands generate, but also from what the in laws provide additionally.

In those circumstances, the JCWI argues that a provision should be made allowing foreign spouses to settle in the UK. The present rules do not bode well for protecting a British national’s right to a private and family life under Article 8. For now, mothers can depend on technology to bridge the gap but the policy to exclude spouses seems untenable and extremely unfair.

What does the JCWI recommend?

In the Report, the JCWI highlights three pertinent recommendations:

(i) Firstly, they are insistent on calculating a partner’s earnings when taking into account the means for them to support their wives.

(ii) The JCWI also suggest third parties support to be taken into consideration. As mentioned earlier, this is reasonable since it takes into account the families’ financial standing to support their children, and ought to be brought into effect.

(iii) Reducing the threshold for income from savings to count without being liquidated.

Lex Meridian’s view

As a law firm which specializes in UK immigration from India, we have already seen how difficult it is for the spouses of UK citizens to conduct their normal family life because of arbitrary distances imposed by increasingly stricter and tighter regulation.
In our experience, the overwhelming majority of applicants of spouses from India are genuine families who are seeking to establish themselves in the UK and contribute to the UK economy.
The JCWI is commended for its report and its findings should be carefully considered by the UK Government and policy makers.


UK transit visa rules to change from December 1

Under the new rules, if you are transiting landside (e.g. you will arrive at one airport and leave from another or you need to pass through border control to collect your luggage for your connecting flight), then you must hold:

1. A valid Electronic Visa Waiver — these are single entry, so one would be needed for each landside transit (UAE, Oman and Qatar nationals only). Continue reading

Managing uk immigration

A recent study by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London (UCL) concludes that in general terms the UK benefitted from immigration and in considering the number of migrants entering the UK from 2001 to 2011 contributed £20bn to the UK economy.  Migrants from the EU paid significantly more in taxes than they claimed in benefits or transfers for education, health or other expenditures. This highlights that the benefits of immigration outweigh its costs. Continue reading

Angela Merkel to block David Cameron’s plans for EU immigration cap

David Cameron’s plans to impose a cap on immigration from the EU have been thrown into disarray by Angela Merkel.
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The Prime Minister has pledged to make reforms to the freedom of movement of workers within the EU a “red line” in a proposed renegotiation of the UK’s membership terms, saying he wants to bring in quotas for low-skilled migrants from the union. Continue reading

Michael Fallon apologises for saying immigrants are ‘swamping’ some towns

A Conservative Cabinet minister was forced to apologise tonight after he claimed that some towns are being “swamped” by immigrants and their residents felt “under siege”.

In a significant toughening of the party’s language on the issue, Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, had echoed provocative comments in the 1970s by Margaret Thatcher. Continue reading

Immigration Systems throughout the world

In the year to April 2014, the UK saw 560,000 immigrant arrivals which included 81,000 British citizens and 214,000 from other parts of the EU. 

Replacing the labyrinthine scheme, in February 2008, the Labour government introduced a point based immigration system. This was said to be modelled on the Australian system. Continue reading