Questions asked of Mayor in London Assembly about international students

Following a complaint I lodged about the treatment of international students and correspondence with the Chair of the Police and Crime Committee, Joanne McCartney, questions have been asked of the Mayor in the London Assembly.

Treatment of International Students (1)

Question No: 3297 / 2012

Joanne McCartney

What assessment have you made of the reports by both the University of London Union and the Guardian that international students had to queue overnight in the rain, some missing their first few days of classes, in order to collect their police registration certificates?
What recommendations are you making to the Met to ensure that this situation does not happen again?

Written response from the Mayor*

This was an unacceptable situation. I am pleased that the Met have introduced new registering procedures to end the long queues faced by international students living in London. Improvements include extended opening hours, pre-booking for Saturday slots and full staffing arrangements to reduce delays.

Whilst this is an improvement, there are opportunities to overhaul this process and reduce the unnecessary burden on the police. At a time of constrained budgets, the requirements as they stand may be an area of duplication.

I have written to the Home Secretary requesting that she works with my Office on this matter. I propose replacing current police procedures, in favour of the UKBA’s existing Sponsor Management System, where universities log all the information requested by police regarding overseas student registration.

* Treatment of International Students (2)

Question No: 3298 / 2012

Joanne McCartney

Why is it necessary for international students to visit Met offices to collect their police registration certificate, when their information is already held by the UK Border Agency?

Written response from the Mayor*

Statutory Immigration Regulations require visitors from a prescribed list of countries who will be resident for more than six months to register with their local police force within seven days of entering the UK. In the Metropolitan Police, this process is managed by its Overseas Visitors Records Office.

Furthermore, the Police and Crime Committee at the London Assembly will be questioning the Metropolitan Police on this issue on Thursday 25th October at 10am.  You will be able to watch the Police and Crime Committee via webcast at the following link: http://www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/the-london-assembly/webcasts live or after it has taken place.

We will continue to campaign on this issue at ULU until these unnecessary controls on certain international students have been removed.

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