New Student Sponsor Licence replaces Tier 4 Sponsorship

As we have previously discussed, the new student visa routes are now active, replacing the Tier 4 routes. Therefore, educational providers will now need the new student sponsor licence in order to enrol international students at their academic institutions. The new student sponsor licence is much the same as the Tier 4 sponsor licence in that sponsors must ensure that they comply with all of their sponsorship duties. Failure to do so will result in the suspension or revocation of the licence and civil penalties; which will also affect the sponsored students studying there. Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in sponsor licence applications and can also conduct mock compliance audits in order to prepare sponsors for any Home Office compliance checks. Please contact our team in order to find out more about our services.  

Who can sponsor for UK student visa?

Academic institutions in the UK are able to enrol international students if they first have the new student sponsor licence. Institutions such as higher education providers are able to apply for a student sponsor licence. Academies and state-funded schools (including those with sixth forms) however, are not allowed to hold a student sponsor licence. Institutions that had a valid Tier 4 sponsor licence will automatically hold a student sponsor licence; they will not need to reapply under the new student route.

What are the main duties of a student sponsor?

It is of significant importance that student sponsors comply with all of the obligations imposed on them as a sponsor, as outlined in the Home Office policy guidance. The ‘Guiding Principles’ for student sponsors are:

“The Student sponsorship regime is based on two basic principles. They are that:

a. sponsorship is a privilege and not a right so those who benefit most directly from student migration (education providers) must help to prevent the system from being abused; and

b. those applying to come to the UK to study must be eligible to do so, and must have a reputable education provider who genuinely wishes to teach them.”

Therefore, the main duties a sponsor must adhere to are (but not limited to):

  • To act honestly in all its dealings with the Home Office;
  • To act with integrity as a genuine education provider;
  • To take responsibility for all its sponsored students while it is sponsoring them;
  • To ensure that concerns about the conduct and integrity of Students and Child Students are treated consistently with other students, including taking appropriate action where students are found to have used deception to gain an advantage in their studies;
  • To comply with all aspects of the Immigration Rules and sponsor guidance, and support immigration control;
  • To co-operate with the Home Office by allowing its staff immediate access to any of its sites on request (whether or not visits are prearranged) and complying with requests for information; and
  • To ensure that its website and any marketing material accurately reflects its current student sponsor status.

Student sponsors also have record-keeping duties and must comply with the Immigration Rules sponsor guidance Appendix D: keeping records of sponsorship.

How do you become a licensed sponsor in the UK?

An application for a student sponsor licence must be submitted to the Home Office. Applications are submitted online for a fee of £536. The supporting documents will then need to be posted to the Home Office along with the Home Office submission sheet for the Home Office’s consideration. If successful, student sponsors will first be given a probationary licence for 12 months. If the student sponsor can demonstrate that they can fulfil all of the sponsor duties and pass a basic compliance assessment, they will then be given a full student sponsor licence.   

How long does it take to get a sponsorship license UK?

Once the student sponsor licence application has been submitted, it usually takes around 4 weeks for the Home Office to make a decision. Applicants will then be informed of the Home Office decision in writing. If an application for a student sponsor licence is refused, there is no right of appeal and the sponsor will have to wait 6 months from the date of the refusal letter to reapply. The reasons for the previous refusal will also need to be resolved in order for the next application to have a chance at success.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to apply for a Student Sponsor Licence

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 Student Sponsor Licence 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 sponsor licence application meets the Immigration Rules and requirements.

Successful Student Sponsor Licence applications with our Immigration Solicitors in London

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 student sponsor licence 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.

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