Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced on Sunday government’s new measures to crackdown student visas, which will take effect immediately. The most affected are  those enrolled in short term courses or below-degree courses.

The Guardian reports:

The number of student visas could be cut by tens of thousands under new rules making it harder for people to enter the UK, the home secretary, Alan Johnson, announced today.

Those seeking to study in the country will have to speak passable English, while students enrolling on short courses are banned from bringing dependants.

The new rules, which do not require legislation, come into effect immediately. The changes follow criticism of the government’s point-based system, that was introduced last year.

Prospective students will have to speak English to a level just below GCSE standard, treating English as a foreign language, rather than the beginner level as at present. In a move designed to protect jobs for British youngsters, students taking “below degree-level” courses will only be permitted to work for 10 hours a week, instead of the current 20.

Those on courses lasting less than six months will not be allowed to bring dependants, while the dependants of students on below degree-level courses will not be allowed to work. Student visas for below degree-level courses with a work placement will also only be granted for institutions that are on a new register, the highly trusted sponsors list.