Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme for Tier 4 to commence 6 April

Under the new UK Immigration scheme, Tier 4 sponsors (education providers) can now apply for a Highly Trusted Sponsor licence. The licence will enable the sponsors to be listed on the register of highly trusted sponsors, which is expected to go live on Tuesday 6 April 2010.

All Tier 4 UK Student Visa sponsors are rated according to their immigration track record and procedures for monitoring overseas students, and the register builds and expands on this rating process.

To qualify as a highly trusted sponsor, an education provider must have a proven track record in recruiting genuine international students who comply with UK immigration rules while they are in the UK. In return, the scheme will cut red tape for sponsors who qualify, and compared with other Tier 4 (General) sponsors, a highly trusted sponsor will be able to offer a wider range of courses to overseas students.

Minimum standards will be applied for all sponsors and, where appropriate, the UK Border Office will suspend or revoke the licences of sponsors who fail to meet these standards.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge UK Visa applications with the British Embassy.