As Brexit negotiations begin, the future of migrants in the United Kingdom should start to become clearer. The future of Tier 4 Students after Brexit is still somewhat uncertain, however, though recent developments suggest that there are changes afoot for both Tier 4 Students and Tier 4 Sponsors. These changes should give some indication of the direction that the Home Office intends to take.
The Future of Tier 4 Students – the Pilot Scheme
Some indication for the future of Tier 4 students can be seen in the Tier 4 Pilot scheme that is mentioned in Annex 6 of the Tier 4 Migrant Guidance. The pilot scheme concerns students who are applying for a Master’s course for 13 months or less at the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Bath or Imperial College London. Those students will be able to stay for 6 months after the end of their course, as well as submit fewer documents with their application.
The immediate benefit of the Pilot scheme is that students attending universities partaking in the scheme will be regarded as ‘low risk’, and will not need to submit as many academic and financial documents as other students. This does not mean that they will not need to meet the requirements – and it is possible that they might be asked to submit those documents – but it shows that the Home Office will be investing certain levels of trust in universities regarding the students they enrol. If the scheme is successful, then this suggests that the future of Tier 4 student visa applications will take a similar approach, with universities bearing the burden of responsibility for ensuring that students are able to meet the requirements.
The scheme will also encourage students to stay in the United Kingdom longer than they might have otherwise, which again suggests that the Home Office would like to encourage Tier 4 students to find employment under the Tier 2 category, or to start their own business as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur. The direction in which the future of Tier 4 students points, then, is towards motivating students at high-ranking universities to switching into employment categories, and to use their United Kingdom education to benefit the United Kingdom.
The Future of Tier 4 Sponsors – the Rating Scheme
The future of Tier 4 students is tightly bound to that of their sponsors, and the Tier 4 Pilot scheme shows that the government is prepared to divest themselves of the responsibility of verifying certain evidential requirements, and instead rely on the university to do so. The Tier 4 Pilot scheme is currently limited to only four universities, but should it be a success there is no reason as to why it should not be expanded to include more universities of a similar stature. A corollary of this is that the visa application process should be faster, though student will still need to meet the requirements even if their documents aren’t subject to checks.
The government has already announced the introduction of a gold, silver and bronze ranking system that will be implemented this year, and which is linked to the Teaching Excellence Framework. The system when it is implemented will give universities the ability to raise tuition fees once they are able to meet gold or silver criteria. It is also possible that the system will affect membership of the Tier 4 Pilot scheme, or even the number of international students that universities are able to enrol, with a ‘gold standard’ university being able to issue more CAS letters than a ‘bronze standard’ institution. This would be consistent with the Tier 4 Pilot scheme, as the ‘gold standard’ universities would be more trusted by the government to take responsibility for ensuring that their students meet the Tier 4 visa requirements, a kind of streamlining of the application process that would link the future of Tier 4 students to the performance of their sponsor.
Using Legal Representation to Apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Tier 4 Student Visa application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Tier 4 Student Visa Applications
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.