Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: New Student Routes Announced

The latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 7070) was published yesterday on 10 September 2020 and it brings about a massive change to the UK’s immigration system. Following recommendations from the Law Commission earlier this year, the UK intends to simplify its immigration system and consolidate the Immigration Rules for both non-EEA and EEA nationals equally as Brexit means the end of free movement and the more relaxed immigration requirements EU nationals have enjoyed for years. Specifically, the current Tier 4 route for students under the Points Based System is going to be replaced with new Student and Child Student routes (“the Student routes”). Our Immigration Solicitors in London are always up to date on the latest changes to the Immigration Rules and are happy to advise how the new rules may affect you during a consultation.  

What are the new student routes?

In order to incorporate EEA national students into the UK’s post-Brexit immigration system, the Government has introduced new student visa routes, thus meaning an end to the current Tier 4 routes (Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child)). Tier 4 will be closed to new Applicants on 5 October 2020 at 9:00am. EEA nationals, however, cannot successfully apply under the new student routes before 1 January 2021 when the transitional period ends as they will still have free movement up until this date and should therefore apply under the EU Settlement Scheme instead.

The main changes for students in the new system are as follows:

  • The inclusion of EEA nationals (from 1 January 2021) as the current Tier 4 route only caters for non-EEA national students;
  • There is no time limit on how long an international student can spend studying a postgraduate course (this is capped at 8 years under the Tier 4 route);
  • Applicants who apply for permission to stay in the UK will not be required to provide evidence of maintenance funds if they have spent longer than 1 year in the UK on their current visa;
  • Applicants from EEA countries will be added to the list of nationalities who may submit reduced documentary evidence (formally Appendix H: Tier 4 documentary requirements);
  • Under the new Student routes, Applicants will be able to apply for further leave to remain in the UK to study under the new Student Routes unless they last held leave as a visitor, short-term student or leave to remain outside the Immigration Rules. Additionally, Applicants also cannot apply if they last held leave as a Parent of a Child Student, a Seasonal Worker or a Domestic Worker in a Private Household.

What are the requirements for the new student routes?

There are changes to the financial and English language requirements for the new student routes. Under the new rules, Applicants are no longer required to meet the maintenance requirement again if they have already met it for their current visa if they have been supporting themselves in the UK for more than a year. Applicants will also be able to rely on electronic bank statements and demonstrate they meet maintenance requirements by relying on a wider range of accounts.

Applicants will only need to prove the required level of English language once, as opposed to with every application. Furthermore, Malta and Ireland will be added to the Home Office’s list of majority English speaking countries.

Students will be able to apply for further permission from within the UK, provided they meet the Academic Progression requirement and the new course of study commences within 28 days of the expiry of the current leave.

Will I be able to extend my current Tier 4 student visa?

Under the new rules, students who currently hold a Tier 4 visa will be able to extend their visa under the new student routes if they are able to meet all of the requirements. Their dependents will also be able to extend their visas under the new student routes. The new rules for Students and Student Dependents will be contained under the Immigration Rules Appendix ST: Student and Child Students under Appendix CS.

You can read the full Statement of Changes (HC 707) below:

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a successful 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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