Mandatory English tests for migrants on Graduate Route in UK

Mandatory English tests for migrants on Graduate Route in UK

Cabinet approves clampdown on controversial scheme

Migrants utilizing the Graduate Route to remain in the UK post their university studies will now be required to take mandatory English tests. The Cabinet is set to approve a crackdown on the scheme that permits foreign students to work in the UK for two years, often at wages below the minimum wage.

Measures watered down after internal Cabinet rift

Following a rift within the Cabinet, led by Lord Cameron, measures for a stricter crackdown on the scheme were softened after Foreign Secretary David Cameron personally intervened. However, the new rules will target universities with high dropout rates and crack down on agents enticing foreign students into low-paying jobs.

Tougher restrictions fall short

Despite calls for tougher restrictions, the package will not reduce the two-year working window or limit the scheme to top-tier institutions. Government sources claim the changes aim to retain only the "best and brightest" on the scheme and address loopholes that enable individuals with poor English skills to exploit the system.

Backlash from Tory MPs expected

The new measures are likely to face backlash from Tory MPs, who have pushed for more extensive reforms. A group of Cabinet Ministers successfully opposed proposals to restrict the scheme to elite universities, opting for a more moderate approach.

Mandatory English tests for migrants on Graduate Route in UK

Efforts to curb migration numbers

In an attempt to address migration concerns, the Home Office will present improved statistics showing a significant drop in visa applications at the start of the year. The government aims to counter the expected high net migration figures with recent controls, including a ban on care workers bringing dependents and an increase in the skilled worker salary threshold to £38,000.