As discussed previously, the government is simplifying their immigration routes to the new points-based system and the first to see some major changes/benefits are students. Traditionally students have travelled to the UK on the Visas known as Tier 4 and Tier 4 (Children), but in line with recommendations set out by the Law Commission, the government is simplifying the rules.
What does that mean in simple terms for students?
There is still a lot of technical jargon with Appendix changes and new appendix being added and removed. But if you are a student looking to apply you need to ensure you have the following in place –
- With us nearing the end of the Brexit transition period, the new rules will apply to EEA Nationals. If you are an EEA national applying in-country, then you will not be able to make your application prior to 1st January 2021. If you are applying for entry clearance, visa’s will only be granted to start on 1st January 2021.
- You must have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies reference number from your chosen institution and it needs to have been issued before the date of the visa application.
- If applying from within the UK, you cannot be here on certain routes (as visitors, short-term students, parent of a child student, seasonal workers, domestic workers in a private household or those with leave outside the Immigration Rules) or on immigration bail
- If you need consent from a government or international sponsorship agency, then it must be in place at the date of your application
- You can now apply for entry clearance up to six months before the start of the course (as opposed to three months, as it remains for in-country applications).
- The eight-year time limit on studying courses at postgraduate level has been removed (the five-year limit for degree level courses is still there).
English Language Requirements
The English language requirement states that you will meet the requirement if you have a GCSE, A Level or Scottish Highers in English which you obtained in the UK, while under the age of 18. Also, the list of English-speaking countries now includes Malta and Ireland
Maintenance funds requirements have eased. The fund must still be in cash, but there is more scope for keeping your funds in pensions or investments, so long as the funds can be withdrawn immediately. Shares, bonds, and credit cards will not be an option as you will not have the option to release the cash immediately. Secondly, the financial institution that you chose must use electronic record keeping.
All the above is much plainer, but as with any new system integration, there is still a great deal of uncertainty and clarification required. Add to that Covid and restrictions on traveling and the task of applying becomes more challenging. However, the UK government has relaxed the rules on studying remotely so it is a great time to select the UK as your place of choice to study
For more clarification on your own visa and study requirements why not speak to one of our highly experienced immigration consultants. With a commitment to ensuring everyone of our clients enter and study in the UK, we will help you every step of the way.
Peju is one of the UK’s leading Immigration Consultants. She is a highly experienced and sought after Immigration and Compliance Consultant with over 12-years’ experience dealing with UK Visas & Immigration.
She is registered by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner at the highest level and has supported businesses to ensure that the migration of staff is compliant with relevant country migration laws, especially the United Kingdom.