Following the government’s ‘Statement of Intent’ with regards to changes to the Tier 4 visa set out earlier this year, a first lot of changes was introduced in April and the next lot came into effect on the 4th of July.
The restriction of the sponsorship of dependants
Only dependants of students who are sponsored by Higher Education Institutions on post-graduate courses of at least a year and government-sponsored students on courses of at least 6 months will be allowed.
The restriction of work entitlements
From now on, only those sponsored by Higher Education Institutions and highly trusted publicly funded further education Colleges are allowed to work (part-time during term time and full time during the holidays).
Proof of academic progression required
In some cases, institutions will need to confirm that new courses enrolled for by students represent genuine academic progression from any previous course they might have studied in the UK.
A new streamlined process for low risk nationals
On the upside, a streamlined application process will be introduced to assist low risk nationals who are sponsored by “Highly Trusted Sponsors”.
Further changes are expected in 2011 and yet more in April 2012, in the government’s attempt to clamp down on abuse of the system.
A revised version of the policy guidance document for Tier 4 migrants, as well as the Statement of Intent summarising the new student visa rules can be found on the UKBA website. For expert visa advice, please visit www.1stcontactvisas.com or call 080 8141 2248.