The government has announced its intention to introduce a new immigration bill in today's Queen's Speech. The stated aim of the bill is to "ensure that the country attracts the people who will contribute and deter those who will not".
Whilst only the broad objectives of the bill have been published, the majority of the proposed measures relate to additional checks on migrants who wish to rent properties, curbs on access to NHS services, and a stronger deportation regime. There are no specific proposals in relation to the student immigration system. It is proposed that employers will face more substantial fines for employing illegal workers. However, given that employers already face a potentially unlimited fine for knowingly employing an illegal worker, it is unclear how the details of this proposal will be implemented. Changes to the student and employment immigration routes can be introduced through revised versions of the immigration rules and related guidance, which do not require primary legislation, so the apparently limited scope of the proposed bill in these areas does not rule out the possibility of further changes in the coming months.
Following the recent restructure of the UKBA and the creation of a new immigration service based in the Home Office, material from the UKBA website is due to be gradually transferred from the UKBA website to the government's digital service at www.gov.uk This seems to be at an early stage, however, and the UKBA website currently remains the main source of information for institutions and employers.