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International Students Not Exempt from Immigration Figures

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The government has confirmed it is categorically not reviewing whether foreign students should be excluded from net migration figures.

A spokesman for the prime minister clarified the government's position after earlier saying there would be an overall review of immigration policy. The chancellor had also suggested foreign students and highly skilled workers are not a major area of concern.

Despite the government being committed to bringing net migration down to below 100,000, last year the Office for National Statistics estimate net migration rose to 333,000 representing the second highest figure on record.

Speaking at the Treasury Select Committee, Chancellor Philip Hammond told MPs: "When the public tells us loudly and clearly that they have a problem with levels of migration, it is very clear to me that they are not talking about computer programmers, brain surgeons, bankers, senior managers and possibly students."

However, later a statement released by Downing Street said: "The government objective is to reduce annual net migration to the tens of thousands, and in order to deliver this we are keeping all visa routes under review.

"Our position on who is included in the figures has not changed, and we are categorically not reviewing whether or not students are included."

It appears that Theresa May's stance on resisting calls for international students to be exempt from immigration numbers has not changed since becoming PM, despite what appears to be differing opinions coming from chancellor Hammond.