UK Immigration Rules Update: Changes to Tier 4 Student Visa Route

This month, the Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules HC 297 were published and the Tier 4 Student visa route is facing some major changes; creating more restrictions to those who want to come to the UK  for their education. Please see below the main changes to the Tier 4 Student visa route:

Main Changes to Tier 4 Student Visa Route

Removing work rights of students at publicly-funded further education colleges

New overseas students who are attending publicly funded colleges will no longer be able to work. Currently, overseas students have the right to work for 10 hours a week, and full-time outside term-time. The reason for this change is due the increasing amount of students not complying with their visa conditions, therefore, they now have to abide by the rules that are applied to overseas students in private colleges. This rule will be implemented in August 2015.

Academic progression

Overseas students at University will be allowed to extend their stay if they are applying for a new course that is at the same level of their current course. However, the course has to be linked to their previous course and the Home Office will require the University to confirm that the course supports the student’s genuine career aspirations. Therefore, there will be credibility interviews and if the University does not comply with the new rules sanctions will be taken against it. This rule will be implemented from August 2015.

Preventing college students from extending their Tier 4 (General) visa or switching to other points-based routes

College students on a Tier 4 Student visa will not be able to extend their stay in the UK or switch to another visa category under the Points-based system, unless they are attending an ’embedded college’ recognised by the UK Home Office. This change will come into fruition in November 2015 and is being implemented with the intention of encouraging students to leave the UK at the end of their course. Not only will this reduce net migration in the UK, but students who want to attend University in the UK will have to leave the country only to make another UK entry clearance visa application.

Time Limits

Also from November 2015, further education courses at National Qualifications Framework levels 3-5 and equivalents will be reduced from 3 years to 2 years. This is to align the length of time overseas students spend studying with the average length of time that most British students spend on such courses.

Maintenance Requirements

The maintenance requirement for Tier 4 General students to cover living costs is set at the same level as the combined maximum maintenance loan and grant available to English students living away from home. The Immigration Rules are being amended to reflect the new rates for students starting courses from September 2015. Furthermore, the requirements for Tier 4 dependents are also being increased in line with the increases for main applicants. In addition to maintenance requirements for Tier 4 Child students have been increased in line with inflation.

Overseas Students not Happy with Changes to Immigration Rules

Understandably, the new changes to the UK Immigration Rules have disgruntled a lot of people, in particular students. Many students have taken to social media to vent their frustrations, as well as, the Huffington Post publishing an article as to why international Students are important to the UK.

If you are looking to study in the UK and would like to know more about the recent changes in the Immigration Rules; one of our expert Immigration Solicitors will be able to advise you.

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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