Tougher UK Student Visa rules effective immediately

- Posted in United Kingdom by Visa Bureauon 09 February 2010

Under the new UK Immigration rules, effective immediately, applicants will need to speak English to near-GCSE level and those on short courses of less than six months will not be able to bring dependants.

The new measures come only week after Tier 4 student visa applications from Nepal, northern India and Bangladesh were suspended due to many suspected bogus applications.  

Under the measures, effective immediately:

  • Successful applicants from outside the EU will have to speak English to a level only just below GCSE standard, rather than beginner level formerly;
  • Students taking courses below degree level will be allowed to work for only 10 hours a week, instead of 20 formerly;
  • Those on courses which last under six months will not be allowed to bring dependants into the country, while the dependants of students on courses below degree level will not be allowed to work;
  • Visas for courses below degree level with a work placement will also be granted only if the institutions they attend are on the new register, the Highly Trusted Sponsors List.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas told the BBC's Politics Show the latest proposals are a response to the moves by people who are trying to get round the student visa system.


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