UK language schools win High Court battle over visa restrictions

The new restrictions had been drawn up by the former Labour government, who thought that illegal immigrants and migrants seeking low-skilled work were abusing the system. 

The feeling amongst language schools and many other organisations however, was that it’s nonsensical to require students to know English before they come here expressly to study it.

The case was brought by English UK, a body that represents 440 language schools, whose main argument was that the Home Office should have brought the issue back to Parliament for proper debate.

Mr Justice Foskett said the fresh restrictions had been ‘achieved through altering guidelines when there should have been a formal change to the rules‘, with the matter referred back to Parliament.

Chief Executive of English UK Tony Millns said: “I am delighted and relieved.”

“We are pleased that Mr Justice Foskett saw the merits of our case and we believe that his decision is good for the UK economy, to which the English language sector contributes about £1.5 billion in foreign earnings each year.”

He said he hoped common sense would now prevail so that students could come into the UK to study English with a lower level in the language.

The current government says it is reviewing English language requirements across the visa system, and that it is committed to undertaking a review into the Student Tier of the Points Based System later in 2010 to ensure that all students coming to the UK are genuine.

Read the full story on the Guardian website

Visit the Cactus Language website for full listings of English courses in the UK

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