Friday 06-05-2016 - 14:23
In April changes to immigration rules came into effect concerning tier 4 visa applications made after April 6th 2016.
Here are the main changes that will affect students:
- Rather than having to go home to apply, tier 4 students who are currently being sponsored by an independent school are allowed to apply for renewal from within the UK.
- Tier 4 students applying in the UK in order to be a postgraduate doctor or dentist, or a student union sabbatical officer, only have to show a maximum of two months’ worth of funds for their living costs.
- The Immigration Rules will clarify that when calculating the time limits (or ‘caps’) on study, it is the period of leave that you have previously been granted that will count towards the time limits, even if you did not spend all of this time studying and/or you used this time to study a different level of course.
- Students who are studying a degree level course at an overseas higher education institution in the USA, and who, as part of their course in the USA, apply for a Tier 4 visa for a study abroad programme in the UK for up to six months, will be exempt from the English language requirements.
- Tier 4 (General) students and Tier 4 (Child) students will be prohibited from engaging in ‘business activity’. The Home Office has explained that this is to stop Tier 4 students from setting up businesses in the UK. This additional work restriction will affect you if you apply for your Tier 4 visa on or after 6 April 2016.
- If you apply for a Tier 4 visa on or after 6 April 2016 you can only change course at the same institution if:
- you haven’t completed the course for which your CAS was assigned
- the course is taught by a UK recognised body or HEI that has Tier 4 sponsor status
- the course is at degree level or above
- the new course isn’t at a lower level than the previous course for which you were granted leave
- you will be able to complete the new course within your current period of leave
- if you have previously been granted Tier 4 (General) or Student leave your sponsor must confirm that:
- the course is related to the previous course for which you were granted leave (that is, it is connected to your previous course, part of the same subject group or involves deeper specialisation) or
- your previous course and the new course in combination support the your genuine career aspirations
- If you apply for a Tier 4 (Child) visa on or after 6 April 2016 you cannot change course at the same institution in order to do a foundation course that is intended to prepare you for entry to a higher education institution.
- Your visa application could be refused if you have an outstanding debt for NHS treatment of £500 or more; or if you have been involved in a legal case with the Home Office and as a result you have been instructed to pay the Home Office's legal costs, but you have failed to do so.