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UK Student Visa Policy 2011 Announced

New Student Visa Policy 2011 has been announced for April 2011 and onward; there is true copy of the statement  Produced by UK Border Agency;  for further assistance you mail ;   [email protected] and in Pakistan you may call at 0300-4700092  ;

Student Visas

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Statement of intent and transitional measures March 2011 student visas statement of intent and transitional measures March 2011

Introduction

On 22 March 2011, the Home Secretary announced the Government’s plans to make changes to Tier 4 (Students) and Tier 1 (Post Study Work) of the points-based system. These changes will be introduced over a period of time in order

to allow the sectors time to adjust.

This Statement provides information on how the new arrangements will operate. We are publishing it now to help ensure a smooth transition with minimal disruption to sponsors’ recruitment plans and student decision making.

The first round of implementation, including interim measures, will be made by laying changes to the Immigration Rules before Parliament on 31 March which will come into effect on 21 April 2011. There will be further changes to the Immigration Rules taking effect in summer 2011, in April 2012 and by the end of 2012.

The measures outlined in this Statement should not be seen as a definitive account of the requirements that will apply in future. The definitive version will be set out in the Immigration Rules and published formal Guidance for Tier 4 sponsors and applicants. The Statement does, however, represent the Government’s current intentions.

The Government will review the impact of the changes and, if necessary, make further changes in order to meet its objectives of tackling abuse of the student route and reducing net migration to sustainable levels.

Overview

We will phase in changes to the rules in order to give providers and students time to plan accordingly. In addition, during a transitional period beginning 21 April 2011, those sponsors who do not meet the new requirements as regards educational accreditation and Highly Trusted Sponsor status will be subject to a limit on their allocation of Confirmations of Acceptance for Studies until such time as they meet those new requirements. In summary the measures and timetable are as follows:

Changes from 21 April 2011

• New sponsors not already on the Tier 4 register will have to meet the new educational ccreditation criteria in order to be issued a Tier 4 licence.

• Existing sponsors will be subject to an interim limit on the number of students they can sponsor unless they:

-hold Highly Trusted Sponsor status; and

-meet the new accreditation criteria.

• Existing sponsors that do not already meet the new accreditation criteria will be required to apply to the relevant inspection body by a date to be announced, in order to be able to continue to sponsor new students, subject to the interim limit, during the transitional period.

• B rated sponsors will not be able to assign CAS to new students (only to those seeking to complete a course).

• A sponsor who is not subject to the interim limit may sponsor, using his own CAS

allocation, students studying at a sponsor who is subject to the interim limit, but must take full responsibility for them (e.g. higher education institutions1 could sponsor students at Pathway providers).

• We will tighten the English language

requirements for Tier 4 (General) students:

-a B1 Secure English Language Test (SELT) requirement for all courses at NQF 3-5 /

QCF 3-5 / SCQF 6-8 (ending the current SELT exemptions on pre-sessionals /

pathway /foundation degree courses);

-a B2 SELT requirement for courses at NQF 6 /QCF 6 / SQCF 9 and above,

with an exception for higher education institutions who can make their own

assessment;

-A student may be refused a visa or entry to

the UK if he cannot speak English without assistance.

• We shall clarify that a CAS may only be issued in respect of a single course, except where the student is attending a pre-sessional course of not more than three months’ duration and has an unconditional offer of a place at a higher education institution or at an independent school starting not more than one month after the end of the pre-sessional course.

1 in this document “higher education institution” means a recognised Body (i.e. an institution which has been granted degree awarding powers by either a royal Charter, act of Parliament or the Privy Council), or a body in receipt of funding as a higher education institution from the department for employment and learning in northern ireland, the Higher education funding Council of england, the Higher education

funding Council of Wales, or the scottish funding Council.

 

Changes from July 2011

• Sponsors will have to vouch for academic progression for students changing course, where the new course is not a step up the NQF/ QCF / SCQF scale.

• Students will have to declare at the visa application stage that they hold and will

continue to hold the required maintenance funds to support themselves and pay for their course. We shall publish local lists of financial institutions with whom we are unable to verify financial statements to our satisfaction.

• Students of designated low-risk nationalities attending courses at Highly Trusted Sponsors will not routinely have to present the specified documents at the visa application stage in respect of their maintenance funds or educational qualifications, although we reserve the right to ask to see the evidence.

• We will restrict permission to work during studies for new students, so that only students at higher education institutions and publicly funded further education colleges can do so, retaining their current entitlements.

• We will only allow new students studying at a higher education institution on a course on NQF 7 / QCF 7 / SQCF 11 or above lasting 12 months or more to sponsor their dependants.

The dependants will be able to work.

Changes from april 2012

• All sponsors must have acquired HTS status.

• We will extend the interim limit in respect of those existing sponsors who have acquired HTS status but not met the new educational accreditation requirements.

• Courses offering work placements will have to have a study:work ratio of 66:33 except at higher education institutions.

• We will set a maximum time of five years in Tier 4 studying at degree level and above, with exceptions for some courses and PhD students.

• We will close the Tier 1 Post Study Work Route but allow switching into Tier 2 as

described below.

• We will make provision for student entrepreneurs.

Changes from end of 2012

• All sponsors have to meet the new educational accreditation criteria to be able

to sponsor new students.

Tier 4 child category

We shall review in due course the provisions applying to child students, with a view to possible tightening of institutions’ eligibility to sponsor child students and also relaxation of certain current rules.

Sponsor Requirements

We will introduce new requirements to ensure a high standard of education at sponsoring institutions and of immigration compliance.

In general the sponsors who have given rise to difficulty in terms of suspended and revoked licences are those who are not subject to the inspection regimes applying to publicly-funded institutions and to the independent schools, and those who are not Highly Trusted Sponsors.

Therefore we shall make these requirements the norm in order for sponsors to gain and keep a licence as a Tier 4 sponsor. From the end of 2012, existing sponsors that are not able to meet all the requirements will not be able to sponsor new students. New sponsors will only be admitted to the register if they meet the new accreditation requirements.

Educational Oversight

From 21 April 2011, in order to obtain a license new sponsors must show that they have a current and satisfactory full inspection or audit by one of the bodies listed below:

• Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education;

• Ofsted (England);

• Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of

Education (Scotland);

• Estyn (Wales);

• Education and Training Inspectorate

(Northern Ireland);

• The Bridge Schools Inspectorate (England);

• Schools Inspection Service (England);

• Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) (England).

We shall announce in due course a date by which

existing sponsors who do not meet the above

requirement must apply to the relevant body.

If they do not do so they will lose the ability to

sponsor new students.

 

We will consider further the eligibility of overseas

higher education providers, which have campuses

in the UK, where they are required to undergo

inspection, accreditation or review in order to

operate within their home country. It is envisaged

that such providers would be able to continue

offering study abroad programmes to their students,

where they are following a course equivalent to UK

degree level or above, and are spending no more

than half the total length of the course in the UK.

 

uK Border agency-approved

accreditation Bodies

 

For privately funded providers of further education,

higher education and English language courses

the UK Border Agency has previously recognised

accreditation offered by five bodies as acceptable

for granting a Tier 4 sponsor licence. These private

accreditation bodies are:

 

• Accreditation UK;

• The Accreditation Service for British Language

Schools (ABLS);

• The Accreditation Service for International

Colleges (ASIC);

• The British Accreditation Council (BAC); and

• The Church of England Inspectorate –

Ministry Division.

 

 

The UK Border Agency had arrangements with

these providers for a period of two years, which

have now lapsed in four cases and in the fifth, due

to lapse in May 2011. The UK Border Agency

does not intend to renew these arrangements for

the purpose of Tier 4. The new requirements set

out above will apply. Therefore, subject to the

transitional period set out below, accreditation by

one of the private accreditation bodies will no

longer be sufficient to meet the criteria for entry

onto the register of sponsors. Providers not yet

on the register of sponsors who have received

accreditation from one of the private accrediting

bodies will, providing they meet all other criteria,

be eligible for a Tier 4 licence provided they apply

to the UK Border Agency before 21 April 2011,

or in the case of education providers accredited by

the Church of England Ministry Division, 10 May

2011.

 

During the transitional period, any sponsor who

was accredited by a private accrediting body and

whose accreditation lapses will continue to be able

to sponsor new students, provided they meet the

other requirements such as applying to the relevant

public accrediting body by the date to be specified,

obtaining HTS status in time, and not having their

licence suspended or revoked.

 

Accreditation from the private accrediting bodies

will still be acceptable for:

 

• providers that cater for student visitors and

child visitors who study (even if not a Tier 4

sponsor); and

• private providers of courses in English for

Speakers of Other Language for the purpose of

applying for settlement and citizenship.

immigration compliance – highly trusted

sponsor status

 

From the launch of Tier 4, sponsors have been

rated ‘A’ or ‘B’ according to their level of compliance

with immigration criteria. In 2010 a new Highly

Trusted Sponsor licence was introduced, which

required sponsors to demonstrate a higher level of

compliance with the Tier 4 requirements. These

higher requirements should become the norm.

Therefore from April 2012, we will require that all

sponsors are Highly Trusted.

 

By summer 2011, we shall review the current

HTS criteria to see how they can be improved in

the light of experience, to ensure that policy and

enforcement objectives are being met. We will

publish revised criteria (if any) as soon as possible.

We will consult with the sectors to draw up the

precise requirements.

 

During the transitional year, as currently, only HTS

will be able to offer NQF 3/QCF 3/SQCF 6 level

courses, and NQF 4 & 5/QCF 4 & 5/SCQF 7 & 8

courses containing work placements.

 

Education providers applying for the first time

to register as sponsors, or to re-register following

a licence revocation, will be granted a licence

that allows them to issue a limited number of

CAS based on their capacity. This will enable

them to sponsor students and so demonstrate

a commitment to complying with immigration

requirements. After a year new sponsors will

have to meet the full immigration compliance

requirements; failure to meet the HTS criteria at

that point will result in the suspension of their

licence and a restriction on the ability to sponsor

new students.

 

From April 2012, where a sponsor does not have or

falls below the HTS standard, we will restrict their

ability to sponsor new students. They will only be

able to issue CAS to allow current students to be

able to complete their original course.

 

 

 

Sponsors who, under the previous criteria, are

downgraded to a ‘B’ rating will be prevented from

sponsoring additional students.

 

If a sponsor has their licence revoked, we will

refuse any application for a new licence until April

2012 or for a minimum period of six months,

whichever is sooner. For revocations after April

2012, there must be at least six months between

the date of the licence revocation and the new

application, in order to enable the sponsor to

address the concerns that led to the revocation.

 

independent schools

 

In view of their lower risk and proven track

record of compliance, independent schools will

be automatically accorded HTS status. We will

not impose the full burden of HTS requirements

on independent schools or charge the associated

fee for the first year. They will continue to be able

to sponsor pupils from overseas under the Tier 4

(Child) category, and automatic qualification for

HTS licences will allow them to sponsor those

pupils who need to make an initial application

or application for further leave under the Tier

4 (General) category. We will consider how

independent schools can qualify for HTS status

from April 2012 onward, ensuring processes are

proportionate to the low level of immigration risk.

 

transitional arrangements and

interim limit

 

Recognising that existing sponsors will require some

time to meet the new educational accreditation and

HTS requirements, they will be able to continue to

sponsor new students during the transitional period

to the end of 2012, provided they:

 

(a) apply for accreditation and HTS within

timescales to be announced;

(b) do not otherwise have their licence suspended

or revoked or downgraded to B status; and

(c) obtain HTS status by April 2012.

Those with an accreditation from the private

accrediting bodies which lapses during the

transitional period will be able to continue to

sponsor new students if they meet the other

conditions set out above.

 

It is anticipated that some existing licensed

sponsors will not be able to meet the new

requirements in due course. We must ensure that

the ability to sponsor new students during the

transitional period is not abused, resulting in a large

number of students at legacy sponsors. Therefore

in the transitional period we will limit the number

of CAS available to those sponsors who do not

fully meet the requirements and encourage careful

usage of those CAS by the sponsor.

 

As soon as a sponsor is able to show they meet the

new requirements we will remove this limit.

 

 

 

interim limit

 

There is no overall limit on the number of CAS that

can be allocated to sponsors affected by the limit

during the transitional period. Any sponsor that

falls within the scope of the limit will have their

CAS allocation reduced and limited in accordance

with the calculation set out below.

 

From 21 April, for sponsors that do not already

meet the new requirements we will limit their

allocation of CAS to be the same as the number of

CAS they issued which were “used and approved”

between 1 March 2010 and 28 February 2011, i.e.

those CAS which were both assigned and resulted

in an approved application for entry clearance or

leave to remain during that period. This will be the

full allocation of CAS for the period until April

2012. This allocation will be for new students

coming to the UK and also for those who may

require a CAS in order to make an application to

extend their leave and complete a course.

 

Any CAS assigned to a prospective student before

21 April 2011 will be valid1 for use in making an

entry clearance or leave to remain application.

The prospective student will also need to meet the

requirements in force on the date the application

was made. Any CAS allocated to a sponsor but not

assigned to a prospective student by 21 April 2011

will be cancelled.

 

From April 2012 all education providers, including

those currently on the register, who want to

sponsor new students will have to achieve HTS

status. Those that have not achieved HTS status

will be given a CAS allocation of zero. Those who

have obtained HTS status, but do not meet the new

criteria on educational oversight we will apply a

limit to their CAS allocation based on the number

“used and approved” in the period April 2011 to

April 2012.

 

1 Provided it was assigned in accordance with the rules and

guidance in place when it was assigned.

 

By the end of 2012 all education providers,

including those currently on the register, who want

to sponsor new students will have to meet the new

requirements on educational oversight. Sponsors

who do not have HTS status as of April 2012 or

do not meet criteria on educational oversight by the

end of 2012 will become legacy sponsors who can

keep their existing students but not sponsor new

ones (provided their licence is not suspended or

revoked for other reasons).

 

Existing students at these legacy sponsors from

April 2012 who at that time have not completed

their course will be able to continue their courses,

provided they continue to meet the requirements

of their leave and the sponsor continues to comply

with their duties in relation to their students. Where

a student requires an extension to complete a

course or to re-sit an exam, the sponsor will have

to ask for an exceptional CAS by contacting the

Sponsor Management Unit. Normally, only one

extension will be granted per student.

 

Where we revoke a licence or a sponsor ceases

operation, students will have 60 days to find another

sponsor offering the same or similar course, leading

to a similar qualification. Legacy sponsors will be

able to apply for exceptional CAS to take over

sponsorship of such students. Leave will only be

granted to allow these students to complete the

specified course.

 

 

 

sponsorship requirements summary

category effect

• existing sponsors meeting new requirements on

both accreditation and Hts status

• no restriction on Cas allocation.

• new sponsors meeting new requirements

on accreditation

• Granted licence, but with Cas allocation limited

• must achieve Hts status within 12 months to be

able to continue to sponsor new students

• existing sponsors meeting new requirements on

accreditation but not Hts

• must obtain Hts status by april 2012

• interim limit on Cas allocation.

• existing sponsors with hts status but not meeting

new accreditation requirements

• must obtain new accreditation by the end of 2012.

• interim limit on Cas allocation.

• existing sponsors not meeting new requirements on

either accreditation and Hts status

• must obtain Hts status by april 2012.

• must obtain new accreditation by the end of 2012.

• interim limit on Cas allocation

• any sponsor – licence downgraded to B rating. •

not able to sponsor new students.

• any sponsor – licence suspended. •

not able to sponsor new students.

• any sponsor – licence revoked. •

existing students have 60 days to find

alternative sponsor.

 

association of chartered certified

accountants (acca) course providers

 

Where a sponsor is offering courses from the

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants we

will require that the sponsor is an ACCA2 Approved

Learning Partner offering student tuition at either

“Gold” or “Platinum” level.

 

partner providers

 

We will allow education providers to provide

courses where they are working in partnership with

a Tier 4 sponsor, but we will require the licensed

sponsor to take responsibility by sponsoring the

students directly by issuing CAS.

 

These arrangements will for example accommodate

short pre-sessional courses prior to study at a higher

education institution or independent school, longer

pre-higher education “pathway” and international

foundation year courses and other courses

organised through partnerships between education

providers.

 

Where the level of immigration compliance of

students studying with the partner provider is found

to be below the required standard this will have an

impact on the rating of the licensed sponsor and

directly impact their ability to sponsor international

students for all courses.

 

2 for further details regarding the levels of aCCa approval please

see: http://www.accaglobal.com/students/study/alps

 

 

 

entry reQuirements

 

 

english language reQuirement

 

We will strengthen the current requirements on

English language competence in Tier 4 (General).

We will require that when a sponsor issues a CAS

for any student commencing a course, they will

have to confirm that the student is competent to

an appropriate level. This requirement will apply

for CAS issued after 21 April 2011, whether to be

used by an entirely new applicant overseas or in

the UK, as well as existing students applying for an

extension of leave to remain.

 

As now, Tier 4 (Child) students will not be subject

to an English language test requirement.

 

level of course

 

For all students following courses at NQF 6/

QCF 6/SCQF 9 and above, the required level

of English will be a minimum of level B2 on the

Common European Framework of Reference

for Languages (CEFR) in each of the four

components of language learning (reading, writing,

listening and speaking). Students not attending

a higher education institution will be required to

demonstrate this through the provision of a Secure

English Language Test (SELT) certificate, which

is within its validity date at the date of the Tier 4

application, from one of a limited number of test

providers approved by the UK Border Agency. The

list of approved providers will be published, and

will indicate for each provider the minimum score

required which equates to B2.

 

We will allow higher education institutions to

choose their own method of assessing the English

language competence at B2 level for their students

studying at NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9 and above.

 

For students following courses between NQF 3/

QCF 3/SCQF 6 and NQF 5/QCF 5/SCQF 8

and English language courses, the required level

of English will be a minimum of CEFR level B1.

All students at this level, regardless of the status

of their sponsor institution, will be required to

demonstrate this through the provision of a

recent SELT certificate which is within its validity

date when the student applies under Tier 4. We

will end some of the current exemptions and

therefore apply this requirement where students

are undertaking foundation degrees , pre-sessional

and pathway courses before a degree course and

for students coming to study English as a foreign

language under Tier 4 at CEFR level B2 and above.

 

english as a foreign language

 

Students who want to come to the UK to learn

English as a foreign language at a level below

CEFR B2 will be able to do so through the

extended student visitor visa launched on 10

January 2011, which allows study on courses of up

to 11 months which are exclusively to learn English

as a foreign language.

 

eXemptions

 

We will also allow exemptions from the requirement

for the production of Secure English Language

Test certificates for:

 

• students moving from Tier 4 (Child) into Tier

4 (General) who have completed a course of

study of at least six months duration;

• those who have completed a qualification

equivalent to a UK degree which was taught in

a majority English-speaking country (including

degrees taught in the UK); and

• those who are nationals of a majority English-

speaking country.

 

 

The majority English-speaking countries are:

 

• Antigua and Barbuda;

• Australia;

• The Bahamas;

• Barbados;

• Belize;

• Canada;

• Dominica;

• Grenada;

• Guyana;

• Jamaica;

• New Zealand;

• St Kitts and Nevis;

• St Lucia;

• St Vincent and the Grenadines;

• Trinidad and Tobago; and

• United States of America.

gifted students at higher

education institutions

 

We accept that in very rare cases, a higher education

institution will want to offer a place to a gifted

student who does not meet the B2 requirement

and where a requirement to attend a pre-sessional

course is inappropriate. In such cases we shall

accept a CAS where the academic registrar has

indicated this to be the case in the free text field

on the CAS form and has provided the student

with an appropriate letter. We expect such cases to

be exceptional and not to be used as a means of

admitting average students who do not meet the

language criteria.

 

 

 

student visas statement of intent and transitional measures

 

tier 4 (General) english language requirement summary

category requirement

exemptions:

• students moving from the tier 4 (Child) into tier 4

(General);

• those who have completed a qualification equivalent

to a uK degree which was taught in a majority

english-speaking country; and

• nationals of a majority english-speaking country.

no requirement.

students following courses between nQf 3/QCf 3/

sCQf 6 and nQf 5/QCf 5/sCQf 8 including:

• foundation degrees;

• pathway courses;

• pre-sessional courses;

• english as a foreign language at Cefr level B2.

Valid selt certificate at B1 level.

non-higher education institution students following

courses at nQf 6/QCf 6/sCQf 9 and above.

Valid selt certificate at B2 level.

Higher education institution students following courses

at nQf 6/QCf 6/sCQf 9 and above.

Confirmation from higher education institution that the

student is competent to B2 level; or

Confirmation from the sponsor that an exemption

should apply on the basis that the student is

exceptionally gifted.

 

w“““

 

uK Border agency checKs

 

From 21 April 2011 we will introduce a rule that

students must be able to demonstrate they can

speak English to the required standard (B1 or B2),

if interviewed by a UK Border Agency officer. The

officer will not judge whether level B1 or B2 has

been obtained. He will test whether the student can

hold a simple conversation without an interpreter.

If they cannot, then clearly the required level has

not been attained. This will be applicable whether

or not the student has been required to present a

SELT certificate. We will not, however, routinely

interview.

 

Where we have interviewed a student and we find

they cannot speak English without assistance, we may

refuse the visa application or entry to the UK. Refusals

will require confirmation from a senior officer.

 

pre-sessional courses

 

The current rules on pre-sessional courses are too

broad, allowing students to obtain a grant of leave

to cover both a long pre-sessional course and a

main course, and giving them an exemption from

our English language requirements.

 

Any CAS issued after 21 April 2011 will only be

able to cover a single course, either a pre-sessional

or a main course. We will make an exception for

students attending a pre-sessional course prior to a

course at a higher education institution where:

 

• the pre-sessional course is no more than 3

months’ duration;

• there is an unconditional offer to proceed to the

main course;

 

 

• the main course starts within one month of the

end of the pre-sessional; and

• the main course is at degree level or above.

We will also make an exception for students

attending a pre-sessional course prior to studying at

independent schools where:

 

• there is an unconditional offer of a place at the

school; and

• the duration of the pre-sessional course plus the

period of study at the independent school does

not exceed the maximum period of leave that

can be granted under the Tier 4 (Child) rules.

If these criteria are met a single CAS may cover

both courses. Those intending to proceed to higher

education institution study must show that they

meet the English language requirement for study at

NQF 5/QCF 5/SCQF 8 or below i.e. B1, before

they can start the pre-sessional. We expect they will

have reached B2 standard before proceeding to the

main course.

 

In all other cases, leave will initially only be granted

for the first course and a new CAS and a further

application for leave will be required in order

to progress to study on the second course. This

application may be made either overseas or from

within the UK. Students going on to degree

level study will have to meet the higher B2

English language requirement as set out in the

section above.

 

evidence of student funding

 

From summer 2011 we will revise our requirements

regarding the evidence a student must provide

to show they can support themselves and their

dependants whilst they are studying in the UK.

 

Currently students are required to show they have

the specified funds available to them for 28 days

prior to making an entry clearance application.

There have, however, been cases where the student

no longer holds the funds when the entry clearance

application is being considered or on arrival in

the UK.

 

We will add a declaration to the application form

so that the student must confirm that the funds

are genuinely available for the purpose of funding

their study and upkeep in the UK. Where we have

concerns regarding the student’s ability to maintain

and accommodate themselves without recourse to

public funds or working in the UK, either when

considering an application or on arrival in the UK,

we shall check to confirm that funds continue to

be available or that they have been spent to fund

course fees or living expenses.

 

For the purpose of verifying maintenance funds,

we shall maintain lists of financial institutions

that we consider, on the basis of experience, do

not verify financial statements to our satisfaction.

Where we have a reasonable doubt about the

declared funds and therefore would normally verify

with the financial institution, we shall award no

points and the application will be refused. Lists of

these institutions will be published on the relevant

sections of the UK Border Agency website, and

locally at visa application centres.

 

 

 

streamlined application process for

low-risK students

 

From summer 2011 we will introduce a streamlined

application process for certain low risk students,

in general waiving the requirements to provide

documentary evidence of maintenance and

qualifications at the time of application. The

substantive requirements will remain the same,

including the 28 day rules for maintenance

funds, and students must be able to provide the

appropriate documents if subsequently requested.

 

We have compiled significant evidence of high

levels of compliance and low risk of abuse for

students of the following nationalities:

 

• Argentina;

• Australia;

• British National Overseas;

• Brunei;

• Canada;

• Chile;

• Croatia;

• Hong Kong;

• Japan;

• Mexico;

• New Zealand;

• Singapore;

• South Korea;

• Trinidad and Tobago; and

• United States of America.

For main applicants of these nationalities who are

sponsored by an institution that meets the new

requirements on educational oversight and are

Highly Trusted, and therefore considered to be very

low risk, we shall, in general, waive the requirement

to provide documents at the time of application

other than the CAS and the passport/ identity

document. We shall also waive these requirements

for dependants where both the main applicant and

dependant are of a nationality listed above. This

will apply for applications in the UK and in their

home country, but not for applications made in

third countries. We will reserve the right to request

the required documentation where necessary and at

random to ensure that the system is robust.

 

review

 

Risk patterns and patterns of compliance change

over time and so we will build mechanisms to

ensure that this “lighter touch” is regularly reviewed

and updated. We will:

 

• re-assess the risk and evidence, normally on an

annual basis;

• re-assess the list of nationalities as and when

new risks are identified and revert to standard

requirements if concerns are confirmed; and

• randomly assess a sample of applicants to

ensure that the initiative is not being abused and

that the risk profile remains accurate.

 

 

entitlements

 

 

student permission to worK

 

For students sponsored by and studying directly

with higher education institutions, we will retain the

current level of permission to work at 20

hours per week part-time during term-time for

students undertaking courses at degree level or

above and 10 hours per week part-time during term

time for students undertaking courses below degree

level. All students studying directly with higher

education institutions will be able to work full-time

during vacations.

 

For students sponsored by publicly-funded

colleges of further education we will also retain the

current level of permission to work at 10 hours

per week part-time during term-time and full-time

during vacations.

 

From summer 2011 students who are applying for

entry clearance or leave to remain and who are not

sponsored by a higher education institutions or

publicly-funded further education college will not

be granted permission to work at any time during

their studies.

 

worK placements

 

We will also retain the current rules around work

placements for students sponsored by higher

education institutions studying at degree level and

above, and keep the minimum study to work ratio

the same at 50:50.

 

From April 2012 where the sponsor is not a higher

education institution, we will additionally require

that students starting new courses including

work placements can only do so where there is a

minimum ratio of study to work of 66:33.

 

dependants and their entitlements

 

From summer 2011 students applying for their

initial grant of leave as a student will only be able

to bring their dependent family members (limited

to spouses/partners and children aged under 18)

where the course is at least 12 months long and the

student is either doing post-graduate level study

at a higher education institution (NQF 7/QCF 7/

SCQF 11 and above) or is Government sponsored.

 

These dependants will have unrestricted access to

the UK labour market.

 

 

 

at the end of the course –

 

 

further study

 

 

time allowed as a student in tier 4

(general)

 

We will maintain the current maximum total

period of leave at three years for study below

NQF 6/QCF 6/SCQF 9. From April 2012, we will

additionally introduce a maximum total period of

leave of five years for study at NQF 6 & 7/QCF

6 & 7/SCQF 9-11. This will limit the overall time

spent in Tier 4 (General) to eight years, with some

limited exceptions. Time studying through the

Tier 4 (Child) route will not be counted toward

these limits.

 

We will make exceptions for those advanced

courses where, for example as a matter of

professional qualification, the required total period

of study is longer than five years.

 

We will work with the education and other relevant

sectors to define a list of these courses by April

2012, to include:

 

• Architecture;

• Engineering;

• Law;

• Medicine (including dentistry and pharmacy);

• Veterinary Medicine & Science.

Students undertaking a PhD will not be subject

to the time limit, but if they have eight or more

years leave as a student or in Tier 4 (General) on

completion of their PhD they will not be able to

apply for further leave in Tier 4 (General).

 

Students who have already eight or more years leave

as a student or in Tier 4 (General) from April 2012

will be able to complete their course, but not apply

for further leave in Tier 4 (General) when

that expires.

 

academic progression

 

We expect that most students who are extending

their visa will be progressing to a higher course

level. We will introduce, from summer 2011, a

requirement for the sponsor to confirm that any

student is making academic progress when they are

applying for further leave to remain to commence

a new course that is not at a higher level on the

NQF/QCF/SCQF. In those circumstances

the sponsor should confirm the new course is

complementary to the previous course, for instance

those moving from a taught Masters degree to

an MBA or research based Masters degree or

developing a deeper specialisation in a given area.

 

Confirmation of academic progression will be

through the CAS, initially in the free text field and

in due course through a tick box on the CAS form.

 

We will allow as exceptions:

 

• applications to move to a new course at the

same level at a different institution before

completion of the initial course (once only); and

• applications to take re-sits in order to complete

the course provided this will not take the

student over the relevant time limit (maximum

of twice, except at higher education institution

who set their own strict criteria on re-sits).

We will not generally seek to challenge an individual

confirmation of progression from sponsors.

However we shall monitor use of this provision

and seek to develop benchmarks for the acceptable

frequency of confirmations where student is not

moving to a higher level.

 

 

 

at the end of the course –

 

 

worKing in the uK

 

 

tier 1 (post study worK)

 

From April 2012 the Tier 1 Post-Study Work route

will be closed to new applicants. Instead students

graduating with a UK degree, PGCE, PGDE from

a Recognised or Listed Body will be able to apply

for a job with a UK Border Agency licensed

Tier 2 sponsor.

 

They will only be able to switch into Tier 2 if they

are in the UK, before their student visa expires.

They must meet the normal criteria for Tier 2, but

we will waive the Resident Labour Market Test

requirement. They must be paid the minimum

salary, i.e. £20,000 p.a. or the minimum set out

in the relevant code of practice. We will keep the

salaries in the Codes under review to ensure they

are appropriate for new graduates.

 

Students switching as set out above will not be

subject to the limit on Tier 2 migrants.

 

Students who switch into Tier 2 as set out above

will be able to sponsor any dependants who

accompanied them as students but will not be able

to sponsor any new dependants.

 

The Government will monitor the numbers

switching from Tier 2 and check for any evidence

of abuse. If necessary it will consult the Migration

Advisory Committee (MAC) on how to address

any abuse (including the subsequent imposition of

a limit) and will also ask the MAC in due course to

review all the in-country exemptions from the

Tier 2 limits.

 

student entrepreneur

 

We know that there are bright and innovative

students who have a business idea and want to

make it work in Britain. So we will ensure there is a

place in our immigration system for those students

who, through their studies, have developed world

class innovative ideas for example in science,

technology or design. For those students who do

not want to be tied to an employer but who want

to bring their ideas to market themselves, we will

develop arrangements to enable them to stay in the

UK to pursue their ideas. We will work with the

education and business sectors to design a process

to identify those whose ideas and innovation can

help drive our growth and productivity.

 

Produced by UK Border Agency

ISBN: 978-84987-449-6

© Crown copyright 2011

www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

 

 

 

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