New UK student visa routes active

Last month we uploaded a post about the new student visa routes which were announced in the September 2020 Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules. Yesterday, on 5 October 2020 the new UK student visa and child student visa routes became active, thus ending the former Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child) routes as the UK’s immigration system slowly moves away from the Tiers. Our Immigration Solicitors in London are consistently up to date with the changes to the Immigration Rules and we can advise on how these changes could affect you during an initial consultation in which you will receive proper legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

What are the new rules for UK student visa?

The requirements for the new UK student visa route can be found under the Immigration Rules Appendix ST: Student. Rules for child students are under the Immigration Rules Appendix CS: Child Student. All international students including EEA nationals (from 1 January 2021) must apply for the new UK student visa in order to study in the UK. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are a genuine student and not seeking to enter the UK for another purpose, as well as score 70 points for the following:

  • 50 points for being a ‘Student’ (see paragraphs below);
  • 10 points for meeting the maintenance requirement by being able to pay the course and boarding fees for one academic year; and
  • 10 points for English language by demonstrating the ability on the CEFR at level B2 or above (where the Applicant is studying a UK Bachelor’s degree) or level B1 (where the Applicant is studying a pre-sessional course or course below a UK Bachelor’s degree).

The Home Office has also published new guidance for these new Points-based System routes.

What is the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (“CAS”) requirement for the new UK student visa?

As with the previous Tier 4 route, student visa Applicants must be issued with a CAS from a Home Office approved sponsor. The CAS must be issued within 6 months of the date of the student visa application and have not have been used in a previous student visa application. The CAS will confirm that all of the other requirements have been met and will also state the cost of accommodation and fees applicable to the Applicant (including any payments already made). Failure to submit a valid CAS will result in an automatic refusal.

What is the Course requirement for the new UK student visa?

The application for a new UK student visa must be for a single course of study (unless an exception applies). The course must be one of the following:

  • a full-time course at degree level or above that leads to an approved qualification; or
  • a full-time course below degree level involving a minimum of 15 hours per week of organised daytime study (8:00am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) that leads to an approved qualification; or
  • a full-time course involving a minimum of 15 hours per week of organised daytime study that is a pre-sessional course; or
  • a part-time course above degree level that leads to an approved qualification where the CAS has been issued by a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; or
  • a full-time course at degree level or above that is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK higher education course where the CAS has been assigned by an overseas higher education institution/provider with a track record of compliance.

What is the approved qualification requirement for the new UK student visa?

Unless the course is pre-sessional, it must lead to an approved qualification. This means it must either be:

  • validated by Royal Charter; or
  • awarded by a UK recognised body; or
  • covered by a legal agreement between a UK recognised body and another education provider or awarding body, which confirms both:
    • the UK recognised body’s independent assessment of the level of the student sponsor’s or awarding body’s programme compared to the Regulated Qualifications Framework or its equivalents; and
    • that the UK recognised body would admit any student who successfully completes the education provider’s or the awarding body’s named course onto a specific or a range of degree-level courses it provides; or
  • recognised by one or more recognised bodies through a formal articulation agreement with the awarding body; or
  • in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, is at Regulated Qualifications Framework level 3 or above; or in Scotland is accredited at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level 6 or above; or
  • an overseas qualification that UK NARIC assesses as valid and equivalent to Regulated Qualifications Framework level 3 or above; or
  • an aviation licence, rating or certificate issued by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

What is the level of study requirement for the new UK student visa?

The level of study of the new UK student visa application with a student sponsor must be at Regulated Qualifications Framework (“RQF”) level 3 or above (i.e. A-levels and above). Applicants who have previously had permission to stay in the UK as a student (Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) are able to extend their visa to continue studying if they can show academic progression in their new course. This means their new course is a level higher than their previous (i.e. Bachelor’s degree and then Master’s degree).

What is the place of study requirement for the new UK student visa?

The place of study requirement means that all study that forms part of the course must take place on the premises of the student sponsor (i.e. the school or university) or a partner institution. The exception to this is if the Applicant is on a course-related work placement, a study abroad programme overseas, or a pre-sessional course.

Can I work in UK with student visa?

Students studying a full-time course at degree level or above at a higher education provider (i.e. a bachelor’s degree at university) are able to undertake work in the UK on the new UK student visa as long as during term-time it is limited to 20-hours of part-time work per week. Usually, the number of hours the international student is permitted to work will be printed on their biometric residence permit (“BRP”). Students must not be self-employed or take up employment as a doctor in training unless if their course on the CAS is a recognised foundation programme or engage in professional sport or coaching.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a new student visa application?

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to apply for a new Student Visa. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

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, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful student visa 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 prospects of submitting a new Student Visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a new Student Visa application.

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 to discuss a new Student Visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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