Indian students excluded from UK's new relaxed visa rules

Alexandra Richards
India was not included in the new relaxed student visa rules: AFP/Getty Images

Indian students have expressed their anger after their country was excluded from a list of “low risk” countries eligible for easier visa application to the UK.

The Home Office announced on Friday a relaxation of the Tier 4 visa category for overseas students from around 25 countries.

The changes make it easier for international students to study in the UK and will come into effect from July 6.

On a list already covering countries like the US and Canada, several new countries were added including Serbia, China and Bahrain, however India was not included.

Many people expressed outrage at the decision to exclude India from the list.

President of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Lord Karan Bilimoria told the Press Trust of India that the policy change was an "insult" to India and an example of Britain's "economically illiterate and hostile attitude to immigration.”

He continued: "I consider this another kick in the teeth for India... This sends entirely the wrong message to India, to exclude it from these Tier 4 measures. The government has simply got it wrong."

A number of people commented on the decision online.

One woman called Viday Ram wrote: “Why was India excluded from a relaxation of UK student immigration rules?

“UK points to large number of Indian students who come but there are more US and Chinese students who come here and relaxed rules already applied to US and will now apply to china.”

Ruth Arnold wrote: “Talented Indian students and loyal graduates have consistently explained to their UK universities how important welcoming visa policies and post-study work are to Indian students.

“Crucial we listen and that universities are 'open to the world'.”

The Home Office told the Standard that it would not be commenting on any individual countries in regard to the relaxation of the Tier 4 visa category.