English language tests introduced for UK Student Visa applicants

- Posted in United Kingdom by Visa Bureauon 23 July 2010

UK Immigration will implement secure English language tests for students under Tier 4 (General) of the points-based system on 12 August 2010.

If a UK Student Visa (General) applicant will be studying a course that is below NQF Level 6 (except a Foundation Degree or an English language course), using a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) issued on or after 12 August 2010, their Tier 4 sponsor must ensure that they are competent in English language at a minimum of level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

This can be done by showing the student:

  • Is from a majority English-speaking country; OR
  • Has successfully completed a course as a Tier 4 (Child) student (or under the student rules that were in force before 31 March 2009, if they were granted permission to stay while they were under 18 years old) which lasted at least six months and ended no more than two years before the date when the CAS is assigned; OR
  • Has passed an English language test with an approved test provider for Tier 4, and has achieved at least CEFR level B1 in all four components (reading, writing, speaking and listening).

Other changes include rules for students applying to change to a different education provider and consessions for students with International Baccalaureate qualifications.

From 23 July 2010, current UK Student Visa holders who want to change to a sponsor with a Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) licence will be able to begin their new course of study, at their own risk, while they are waiting for the UK Border Agency to make a decision on their application to change sponsor.

Students applying to change to an A- or B-rated sponsor are not permitted to begin their new course of study until they receive a positive decision from us on their application to change sponsor.

Students relying on International Baccalaureate qualifications awarded on 5 July 2010 will not be issued with a paper transcript giving their results, and will not receive their award certificates in time to apply for university courses starting in September this year. The UK Border Agency has made the provision to accept applications made by students relying on an International Baccalaureate qualification, but who have not received their original award certificate.


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