01 October 2009

Policy changes for Tier 4 Student Visa

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The UK Border Agency has announced two new policies for Tier 4 Student Visa sponsors and prospective students.

Tier 4 Student Visa

New policy changes will affect prospective university and college students on a Tier 4 Student Visa.

These changes are in line with the launch of the sponsorship management system for Tier 4 Student visas on October 5.

The policy changes affect two main areas: the maintenance concession for Tier 4 Student Visa applicants already in the UK; and tying UK student visa holders' permission to stay in the UK to their sponsors.

Effective today, Tier 4 Student Visa applicants from outside the UK must prove they have had the necessary money to cover their course fees and maintenance in their bank account for a 28-day period ending no more than one month before their application.

Students already in the UK have been given a concession, and all prospective students within the country who make a Tier 4 Student Visa application before February 2010 will only need to show that they have the month needed on the day when they apply.

From October 5, new Tier 4 Student Visa holders' permission to stay in the UK will be tied to the education provider or institution that is sponsoring their application.

Every new Tier 4 Student Visa holder will find their sponsor's reference number on their passport, or identity card.

If a student wants to study with a new sponsor, and they made their last application for a Tier 4 Student Visa on or after October 5, they will need to apply for a new visa.

Students will not be permitted to start studying with the new education provider until they have received a decision on their application. If they do so, they will be committing a criminal offence for which they could be prosecuted or removed from the country.

The UK Border Agency has announced that they will make every effort to ensure that applications from students wanting to change their education provider are considered within the published service standard, so that they can move to the new education provider as quickly as possible.

If a student wants to study with a new education provider, and they made their last application for a Tier 4 Student Visa before October 5, they will continue to be allowed to change their without making a new visa application. They must, however, seek permission from the UK Border Agency to change their sponsor.


 The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK immigration and UK work permit applications.


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