UK Boarding Schools: Tier 4 Students are Treated like Illegal Migrants

This week, boarding schools across the UK have spoken out about their concern of the treatment of non-EU students. Headteachers have claimed that not only are pupils being treated “like illegal immigrants”, recent Immigration Rule changes have seen schools take on the huge administrative burden of overseeing applications from international students. Today we were privileged to attend the Home Affairs Select Committee and Regent’s University joint seminar on Tier 4 student visas. 

James Brokenshire: International Students not part of Net Migration

John Newton, the headteacher of Taunton School which educates students from 35 different countries was present at the school has echoed the feelings of many educators:

“Why is this country treating highly respectable people from around the world like second-class citizens? Why is the government not intelligent enough to ensure that the children who come to me as students are not part of the ludicrous immigration targets it has set itself? Why are we treating them with such disrespect and dishonour when they come to my town? They come and spend money in the shops, they fund the jobs of the employees in this school and we treat them as though they should not be here. It’s pandering to this immigration terror we have that is so backward and so arrogant. We should limit who comes to our country but these students are fuelling universities with great minds, they are fuelling our schools and communities. We are doing a universal good here and we are being penalised for what we do.”

Despite the ongoing debate that international students should be removed from the immigration figures, James Brokenshire, Minister for Immigration and Security stated at the Tier 4 conference that overseas students are not included in the migration net target.

Currently in the UK there are approximately 24,000 international students studying at UK boarding schools. According to the Independent Schools Council, with more than 11,000 students coming from Hong Kong, China and Russia.

Changes to Tier 4 of the Points Based System

The Tier 4 Student and Child categories under the points based system are for those international students who wish to come to the UK to study and experience life and culture in the UK. The following changes are being made to the category:

  • Tier 4 (General) Students applying for a visa or an extension of stay who want to undertake a course at a Higher Education Institution in a discipline set out in Appendix 6 of the Rules are required to hold a valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate from the Counter-Proliferation Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This is stated under Paragraphs 245ZV(da) and 245ZX(ea) of the Immigration Rules.
  • The Immigration Rules are being amended to clarify  that a new ATAS certificate must be obtained if the course content changes, the course end date is postponed significantly, or if the student wants to start a new course that requires ATAS clearance.

Successful UK Tier 4 Student Visa Applications & Appeals

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a student visa application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.

We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had a student visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.

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