English UK disappointed at Border Agency’s change to visa rules
22 July 2010

English UK today said it was “very disappointed” at the decision by the UK Border Agency to again raise the level of English proficiency required for British student visas.

As of July 23 students below degree level must again prove that they have reached level B1, which is just below A Level standard. This includes students who want to learn English in the UK, a situation which English UK Chief Executive Tony Millns has described as “clearly absurd”.

The B1 level was originally imposed by the Government on March 3, but overturned on July 9 after English UK won a judicial review of the process by which the rules were changed. The High Court judge, Mr Justice Foskett, ordered that the language rules should revert immediately to the “basic” level of A1.

“We’re very disappointed that the Border Agency has made this change without us having had the chance to meet the new Immigration Minister, Damian Green, and make our case with him,” said Mr Millns.

“A group of MPs who represent constituencies with high concentrations of language schools and myself are due to meet Mr Green on Monday. They are very concerned about the effect of this ruling on the local economy of their constituencies. When Mr Green was in opposition, he too was very supportive of our position and the detrimental effect this rule has on genuine students.”


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