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The biggest changes in UK Tier 4 student visa in the decade. Every student must know it

The biggest changes in UK Tier 4 student visa in the decade. Every student must know it

 
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Update: Please note, some of the changes, announced on 13 July, 2015 and covered it this article, have not been introduced. 

 

There have been a lot of rumours about forthcoming changes to UK student visa. Finally the updates which affect every student in the UK have been announced. Read on the find out what has changed.

In this article we provide a short and easy to understand summary of changes to Tier 4 General student visa rules announced on 13 July 2015. Some of these changes will affect students who apply for a Tier 4 visa on or after 3 August 2015, and others affect those who apply for a Tier 4 visa on or after 12 November 2015.

Increased requirement for maintenance funds

When you are applying to study in the UK, you need to show enough money to support yourself while you are in the UK. It’s called maintenance funds.

From 12 November 2015 the requirement for maintenance funds will be increased.

If you study in London, you need to show £1265 per months up to £11,385 for a course lasting 9 months or more.

If you study outside of London, you need to have £1,015 for each month of your course, up to a maximum of £9,135 for a course lasting nine months or more.

Lower maintenance funds not allowed
After 12 November 2015, even students having “established presence” in the UK will not be allowed to use lower maintenance funds for visa renewals and must demonstrate maintenance funds in full.
Start date of entry clearance

When you are applying for Tier 4 General  visa for a pre-sessional course or a course of longer than 6 months, your entry clearance permission will allow you to enter UK  7 days before your intended date of travel (but not more than 1 months before the course start date).

Work permission for Tier 4 (General) students and dependents

Only students applying to study in a UK university will be allowed to work 20 hours a week during the term time and full time during their holidays.

Students making new applications for Tier 4 General visa on or after 3 August 2015 to study at a publicly-funded further education college (in line with private colleges) will no longer be allowed to work.

From autumn 2015 Tier 4 dependants will not be allowed to take a low or unskilled job, but can still work on part-time or full-time skilled jobs.

Academic progress

From 3 August 2015, students of universities will be allowed to study a new course at the same level if the university confirms that:

(1) the course is related to the previous course, meaning that it is either connected to the previous course, part of the same subject group, or involves deeper specialisation; or

(2) the previous course and the new course in combination support the applicant’s genuine career aspirations.”.

Students applying to colleges will not be allowed to study at the same level.

Time limits (caps) on study

From 12 November 2015 the cap on studying below degree level is reduced from three years to two years.

For all Tier 4 (General) applications made on or after 3 August 2015, periods of additional leave granted before or after a course will now be included in the caps.

Renewing you Tier 4 visa in the UK

From 12 November 2015, only Tier 4 (General) students sponsored by UK universities or embedded colleges will be allowed to renew the Tier 4 visa in the UK.

Students of other private colleges and publicly funded colleges willing to study another course in the UK, will have to leave the country and apply for a new Tier 4 visa from abroad.

 
Switching from Tier 4 General student visa to Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 5 visas

From 12 November 2015, not all Tier 4 students will be allowed to switch to other visa categories inside the UK.

If you study in a UK university, after 12 November 2015 you can switch inside the UK to:

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 1 (Investor)
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)
 

If you study in an embedded college offering pathway courses or integrated programmes, after 12 November 2015 you can switch inside the UK to:

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 1 (Investor)
 

All other students of private colleges and publicly funded colleges who wish to apply for Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 5 visas, will need to leave the UK and apply for a UK visa from abroad.

You can read the full Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules published on 13 July 2015.

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