Revised rules will come into effect on 4 July 2011. If you have any questions about the changes, please get in touch with Christina Yan Zhang.
The changes being made include:
- restricting work entitlements to those studying at Higher Educational Institutions (HEI) and publicly funded Further Education colleges only;
- restricting the sponsorship of dependants to those studying at post-graduate level at an HEI and then on a course lasting for 12 months or longer, and Government sponsored students on courses lasting 6 months or longer;
- requiring institutions to vouch that a student's new course represents genuine academic progression;
- ensuring that maintenance funds are genuinely available to the applicant, by introducing a declaration on the visa application form;
- the commitment to publish a list of financial institutions that we consider, on the basis of experience, do not verify financial statements to our satisfaction in more than 50% of a sample of cases;
- introducing a streamlined application process for low risk nationals applying to attend a course at a highly trusted sponsor;
- extending the list of courses for which students must receive Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance;
- restricting the ability to deliver accountancy courses accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to those sponsors accorded platinum or gold status by ACCA; and
- clarifying the position of overseas universities with campuses in the UK.
There are also a small number of changes being made to Part 8 of the Rules to allow other dependent family members of refugees with limited leave in the United Kingdom to join them from abroad.
UKBA will also be publishing the Impact Assessment for the Tier 4 and Tier 1 (Post Study Work) changes following the recent review and consultation exercise.
In addition, UKBA are announcing that the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) will extend their remits to cover privately funded providers, in line with our commitment that all privately funded sponsors would need to be inspected or reviewed by one of the publicly recognised bodies approved for Tier 4. For further information please visit: www.qaa.ac.uk
The Government is clear that the UK has a worldwide reputation for providing quality education to overseas students, and is the destination of choice for many people wishing to study abroad.
Equally UKBA want only the highest quality international students to come to Britain. They want genuine students to study at genuine institutions, whose primary purpose is providing a first-class education. We want students to study for qualifications that will help them in their home countries, not as a route to live and work in the UK.
The changes being introduced on 4 July are part of a suite of changes. Full details of today's announcement and the new Immigration Rules and guidance can be found on the UK Border Agency website: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk