Last week the Home Office published a new guidance note along with top tips for students when making an application for a Tier 4 Student visa. The guidance note was published in an effort by the UK Government to encourage more international students to come to the UK and is aimed at students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) wishing to make a visa application to study in the UK. We summarise some of the key points below;
Home Office Guidance for Tier 4 Students
- All students need to demonstrate that they have a place to study at an institution on the UK’s list of Tier 4 sponsors, and that they can speak the required level of English for the course.
- The level of English required will depend on the type of institution you are studying at and the type of course. This may mean passing a secure English language test (SELT). If you require a SELT you must obtain this before your sponsor issues a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS).
- Students should ensure that they have the appropriate documentation such as A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which is completed by the Tier 4 sponsor that has offered the student a place and the CAS should contain details about the student , the course, and the student’s English language skills.
- Students must provide sufficient evidence to show that they have adequate finances to pay for their course fees, their living costs and fees for any dependants if applicable.
- Students must ensure that the funds available to them must have been held in their account for a specified period as detailed in the guide, the application form and the UKVI website.
- Where documents are requested by the Home Office, students should provide originals and ensure that any documents which are not in English are translated.
- Students are advised of the availability of a range of priority services and should check what services are available to them at their local visa centre.
- The guide further advises students on options available if they wish to stay in the UK to work after completion of their studies.
- Other tips include information about paying the NHS Health Care Surcharge and registration of their Biometric Data are also available on the UK Government ‘s guide.
The Government has said;
“The UK recognises the important contribution international students make, and welcomes those who wish to study at our world-class institutions. This leaflet is designed to provide you with some information about the Tier 4 visa routes for those wishing to study in the UK. It also provides information on the routes for short-term study.
Visit www.gov.uk/visas-immigration for detailed and up to date guidance before proceeding with your application.
Criticisms of the UK Government’s Top Tips
Students should note that there has already been criticism of the Home Office guide as it is misleading to suggest that students can rely on funds from a family member and that the funds can be held in someone else’s account.
The latest policy guidance from the Home Office for Tier 4 Student Visa Applications states that;
You can use money held in an account owned by you or by your parents or legal guardian. If you are a Tier 4 (General) student and using funds held by your parent(s)/legal guardian(s), you will need to show us evidence that you are related to your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and that you have their permission to use this money;
If you a Tier 4 (General) student and are relying on money held by your parent(s)/legal guardian(s), you must show that you are related to them and must provide one of the following: i. your birth certificate showing the names of your parent(s)/legal guardian(s); or ii. your certificate of adoption showing names of both parent(s) or legal guardian(s); or iii. a Court document naming your legal guardian(s). The document use must be the original legal document or a notarised copy;
If you are relying on money held by your parents(s)/legal guardian, you must also show that your parent(s)/legal guardian have given their permission for you to use this money. You must provide: a letter from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The letter must confirm: the relationship between you and your parent(s) or legal guardian(s); and that your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have given their consent to you using their funds to study in the UK.
In any case prospective students who wish to come to study in the UK should obtain legal advice before making their application for a Tier 4 Tier 4 student visa, especially if they wish to rely on funds provided by a third party in order to avoid the visa application being refused by the Home Office.
UK Immigration Advice For Tier 4 Visa Applicants and Sponsors
Our team of solicitors and barristers bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your Tier 4 application by providing you with advice from our leading team of barristers before your matter even reaches the Home Office. Our expert immigration solicitors provide business clients with a tailored service and are on hand to expedite the sponsor licence process. We ensure that we help you achieve and maintain an A rated sponsor licence and provide ongoing compliance checks to ensure you are aware of your duties as a Home Office registered sponsor.
If you have instructed legal representatives and you are unhappy with their conduct you can contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us for a telephone assessment.