New UK student visa rules

22 April 2011

Changes to the UK immigration rules effected Tier 4 (student visas) of the points-based system came in to force yesterday – 21 April 2011.

They follow a major public consultation on the UK student visa route which was announced laid before parliament by the Home Secretary on 22 March 2011. The new rules are part of the UK government’s plan to tackle the UK immigration system. The UK Border Agency commented:

“The aim of the revised Rules is to deliver a strong migration system which tackles immigration abuse, while allowing genuine students to study at genuine colleges.”

Under the new rules, students will face more stringent English testing due to the increase in the minimum level being increased. Furthermore educational institutions will be required to obtain ‘high-trusted’ sponsor status  by April 2012 to continue sponsoring students in the UK. It is hoped that this will stop abuses to the UK student visa route.

Students are also affected by the rule changes after arriving in the UK. Their time in study in the UK will be limited to a period of 5 years and many will be unable to bring their dependents as a result of the changes.  The UKBA will also place restrictions on working rights of students as part of the changes.

If you are interested in working in the UK, please contact us for more information or a free assessment.