James Dyson speaks out for UK Student Visas

January 8, 2015

Sir James Dyson, the world-renowned inventor and engineer, called on the UK government to look again its plan to ensure overseas students leave the UK once they have completed their studies. Under a future proposal that has been announced by the Home Office Minister, Theresa May, upon graduation students will be asked to return to their country of origin. However, the prominent innovator, best known for his cyclonic vacuum cleaners, claimed that the change in policy would condemn the country to nothing more than economic decline in the long run.

Writing in the British press, the technology expert said that any move to make the UK less welcoming for overseas students who have completed their studies would be short-sighted. “I'm not an expert on immigration, but I do worry about the country's ability to make products and to make engineering breakthroughs and scientific progress,” he said. “And, yes, that means making money for the UK economy, too,” he added.

The debate over immigration, including the ability of students to stay in the UK after completing their courses, has been a tricky political issue over the course of the last year. This was ramped up as a new party, Ukip, which is less favourable to immigration, gained in the European Parliamentary elections in September and later won two seats in parliament following defections from the Conservative party. The Ukip leadership – and others in the political mainstream of the UK – have called for a points-based system for skilled immigration, like that which exists in Canada or Australia, for example. However, Dyson and other people in highly skilled professions have called for less dramatic measures to be taken which will keep the UK open to the best and brightest from around the world.

Mr Dyson said that the concept of training up individuals from overseas only to kick them out of the country once they were ready to take on gainful employment was a bit counter intuitive. “Bright sparks are drawn to Britain for a good number of reasons,” he said. “The UK's universities are amongst the best you can find in the world and this is particularly so in the fields of science and engineering.” However, Dyson went on to say that the Home Office would like to wave goodbye to the sharp minds who have been welcomed to the country as students the moment “their mortarboards land on college lawns.” 

The Home Secretary has been widely reported as wanting a future Conservative government – following the general election that is due in May - to work towards “zero net student migration”. In what many see as a populist move designed to attract votes, this means making sure foreign students leave the country once their study visa expires. Mrs May told parliament that if nothing is done about the immigrant student population, then there would be about 600,000 overseas students from outside of the European Union coming to Britain to study every year by the 2020s. 

However, this argument was viewed with widespread scepticism by a number of MPs from the Labour party and those within her own party, too. Echoing Dyson's calls for a more open approach to student immigration in the UK, the shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, challenged the economic sense of requiring newly-qualified students to leave the UK's economy. The Conservative MP, James Gray, who represents the area where Dyson's engineering plant is based, also demanded to know the impact of May's plans on businesses. “How would you answer my constituent Sir James Dyson, who states that automatically sending all students home on completion of their studies would have dire consequences for business?” he asked. “Firms like his rely on engineers, scientists and others professionals from foreign countries,” he added.

Joining in with the criticism of the plan, Sir Peter Luff, another Conservative MP, demanded assurances that any efforts to curb student immigration would not have a detrimental effect on the UK's higher education system or prevent British companies from accessing the skills they can only source internationally. Although Mrs May went on to defend her plans, no change in the current regulations is expected to be enforced prior to the election later this year. Only after a new government is formed will any such plans be put into practice or, indeed, rejected. In the meantime, the chorus of disapproval for making the UK less attractive to recent foreign-born graduates continues to grow.

Dyson concluded his criticism of the proposals to make students apply for British jobs only after they have returned home by saying that it is “not exactly motivating and not exactly practical, either.”  

Welcome to Brighter Visas, we have immigration experts based in our offices world wide.

Since 1996 we have protected peoples rights and won Immigration cases, securing visas for our clients world wide. We believe we are now the largest and most successful Immigration and visa firm in the world. Servicing both individuals and business needs. We hope you find our site full of helpful advice from our Immigration and visa experts. Brighter Visas employs qualified solicitors, accredited immigration consultants and ex-immigration officers to help our clients win their case, guaranteeing our rate of success continues to be excellent with the highest levels of service.

Start your FREE Assessment Here

Corporate Clients & Testimonials

HSBC Investment Bank  -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
British American Tobbacco -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
East End Foods -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
A.T Kearney Ltd -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
Hayes Recruitment -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
Bank of Montreal -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
AXA PPP -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
Sony UK Ltd -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
IBM UK Ltd -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
The Independent News Paper -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
Express News Papers -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
Boston University -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
ITN -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients
HJ heinz -Brighter Visas's Corporate Clients



My experience with Brighter Visas has been wonderful so far. From the day of my assessment to the day of my application to the day of searching for employment, everything has been very smooth. My consultant, Mr. Luke, has been very helpful and accommodating with all my inquiries and needs. He's always available whenever I have questions or when I'm in need of his assistance. He calls me from time-to-time to update me of my case and assures me that everything is going well, which is why I never worry of my application because I'm confident that I am in good hands and in a good team. Brighter Visas also sends e-news letters, which give me more options and knowledge of the employment in my desired country.

I have already recommended Brighter Visas to my friends and would recommend it to my colleagues.

Thank You, Brighter Visas!


The whole experience of using Brighter Visas was very professional and dealt with extremely efficiently, from initial enquiries with Chetan to structuring the application and final outcome with Simin.

I would recommend Brighter to anyone looking to immigrate and in need of an agent.

Many thanks for a pleasant service and great outcome.


The immigration consultant was very knowlegeable and provided me with a regular update on my case. I never imagined it was for real until i got an email that my green card has been approved. At this point, i am more than willingly to recommend Brighter Visas to friends and family members since they truly are the best in rendering professisonal immigration services to people world over.


It is difficult to explain how good it felt when my visa was approved.  Years of dreaming about living overseas out of the smoke.  Then applying to make the move before I got too old with my whole family was so stressful and exciting but also I was very anxious.  I just want to say thanks to the whole team for my visa but most of all for giving me months of free therapy when I needed a little reassurance I was doing the right thing.  

I love my new life and my kids are doing so well in School it is just amazing.