UK Business Immigration Update Part 3: New Statement of Changes for Tier 4 Visa and Short Term Study Visa Applications

We have recently explained the recent amendments to the UK Immigration Rules which have been set out in the new Home Office Statement of Changes HC309 in regard to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa categories under the Points-Based System. There are also significant changes to visa routes used for studying in the UK either through the Tier 4 Student Visa or the Short Term Study Visa. There are also amendments in regard to the family members of Tier 4 Students.

UK Business Immigration Update: Tier 4 Student Visa Applications

The Tier 4 Student Visa allows non-EEA nationals to come to the UK to study as either a Tier 4 (General) Student or Tier 4 (Child). Key changes in relation to the Tier 4 Student Visa categories include:

  • The table in the guidance in relation to the maintenance requirement has been made clearer to convey which requirements are applicable for students who are studying in London and for students who are studying outside of London;
  • The maintenance requirement for Applicants who are applying to study at a Residential Independent School is being amended so that additional funds for living costs will not need to be evidenced because they will be accounted for under the boarding fees;
  • Applicants who wishing to undertake a part time study course at certain levels will now be considered under the Tier 4 category but will have no right to work and will not be able to make an extension application from within the UK;
  • Tier 4 Students will now be able to apply for Leave to Remain from within the UK in order to complete a work placement or study abroad programme; and
  • Other minor changes in regard to the working of the Immigration Rules in order to provide greater clarity and understanding for Applicants.

These changes will come into effect from 11 January 2018.

UK Business Immigration Update: Family Members of Tier 4 Students

Under the UK Immigration Rules, family members of Tier 4 Students may be able to apply to join their Tier 4 Student family member in the UK if they meet certain criteria. Applications can be made from within the UK and out of the UK and it is important that family members can demonstrate that they are able to support themselves whilst they are in the UK.

The new Statement of Changes in regard to family members of Tier 4 Students applies the wording in relation to genuine and subsisting relationships under Appendix FM to family members of Points-Based System migrants. Furthermore, the work rights for the family members of Tier 4 Students will remain even if the Tier 4 Student is applying or had been granted leave of a minimum of 12 months as a Tier 4 Student. Another key amendment will now mean that Tier 4 Students who are studying a part time course will not be able to bring any dependants with them to the UK.

UK Business Immigration Update: Short Term Study Visa Applications

Applicants who apply for a Short Term Study visa will be allowed to study in the UK for up to 6 months or 11 months if studying an English Language course. As per the new Statement of Changes, students are now able to remain in the UK for up to 30 days at the end of their study. The minimum age requirement for Short Term Study Applicants has been lowered from 18 years old to 16 years old in order to give the opportunity for those aged 16 or over to apply for the longer English courses and ensure the genuine student rule is consistently applied.

Under the Short Term Study route, Applicants are unable to undertake any form of work, however changes to the rules will now allow medical, dentistry or veterinary degree students to complete electives in their field of study, although any other type of work is still prohibited. The definition of “a course” under the Short Term Study visa route has been provided in order to clarify that more than one programme of study can be undertaken as long as they are completed within the valid vis period.

Using Legal Representation to submit Successful Tier 4 Student Visa and Short Term Study Visa Applications following the UK Business Immigration Update

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Tier 4 Student Visa or Short Term Study Visa application.

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, all necessary documents must be provided. This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 4 Student Visa and Short Term Study Visa Applications following the UK Business Immigration Update

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 immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

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.

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

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