If I want to reform or campaign for time spent on a Student visa (previously called a Tier 4 (General) student visa) or a Youth Mobility Scheme visa to count towards the required five years of continuous residence, who do you recommend emailing and writing letters to?

I'm not in the UK, and I don't want to spend any money on this. But I can spend some time, like when I'm stuck in traffic.

My first thought is stupid and completely useless — enacting an Act of Parliament. I know my request is too trifling and the UK Parliament has more important Bills to pass. My second thought is emailing the PM Boris Johnson — but I don't think he's that reliable. And isn't he pro China? But again this isn't important enough for him. Any email to him will just be read by some clerk who has no power. My third thought was Hong Kong Watch that has Lords and MP's, like former Hong Kong Governor Patten. But I don't know if any of them have enough power to action my request. Thanks!

2 Answers 2


Foreign citzens have effectively zero influence on the UK political system. This is intentional. The laws in the UK are made by Members of Parliament, who are elected by commonwealth citizens in their constituencies.

Feel free to write to Boris Johnson. (no, he's not particularly pro-China, he's pro-Boris Johnson, and pro-Britain), Or write to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, or there may be a junior minister with responsibility for immigration.

This said, you may be better writing to your government, and ask them to put pressure on the UK government. This depends on how responsive to citizens your government is.

Nevertheless, be realistic. You aren't a UK citizen, so your opinion won't carry very much weight. Individual acts of writing to politicians can be effective, but are more likely to be effective when they inform a politician of a fact of which they are not aware. As I've indicated elsewhere, the restriction on student visas is completely intentional. The law is acting as it is intended to.


Only the current government or an Act of Parliament can amend the immigration rules.

With that in mind, your suggestion should either be directed to the UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Future Borders and Immigration), who is currently one Kevin Foster MP, or it should be directed to a suitable MP or Lord who is willing to press your case independently - they will need to raise your concern with the government, and if that fails then they can introduce a backbenchers bill to amend current legislation as appropriate.

Any bill would then have to win the approval of both houses to the extent of a majority vote, to be enacted into law.

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