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Changes to the Tier 4 Student category

Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC1078, announced on Friday 17th March 2017, introduces various change to Tier 4 Visas, which cover students. Amendments will seek to ensure stronger care protections for those who fall within the “Child” subcategory, as well as setting higher standards which institutions and students must reach if they wish to be considered under the “General” category.

Tier 4 (Child)

  1. Tier 4 (Child) applicants who have younger siblings accompanied by their parent(s) on the Parent of a Tier 4 (Child) route will be allowed to show they meet the maintenance requirement on the basis that they will reside with their parent(s);
  2. Applicants applying for a Tier 4 (Child) visa and who are over 16 will need to satisfy to Secretary of State that they are a genuine student. This will bring the “Child” subcategory in line with the Tier 4 (General) one;
  3. Any Tier 4 (Child) applicants and Tier 4 (General) applicants who are under 18 must provide confirmation from a parent or guardian that they consent to the arrangements for the child’s travel to, and reception and care in the UK. Evidence will also be needed of the relationship between the applicant and the parent or guardian.

Tier 4 (General)

  1. Applicants sponsored wholly by a Government or international scholarship agency must provide the unconditional written consent of the sponsoring Government or agency to the application. They must also present proof in documentary form;
  2. Sponsors will only be able to sponsor migrants who wish to take courses of a certain academic standard (courses at Level 3 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and Level 6 in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)), unless they are under the age of 18;
  3. Applicants who wish to study at a course which is below degree level cannot receive the grant of entry clearance or leave for more than two years if they are over 18. This requirement will be waived if their course is subject to a regulatory requirement by the Maritime and Coastguard agency that the applicant must spend at least 12 months at sea, in which case it will be extended to three.
  4. Applicants who wish to undertake an intercalated bachelor’s or master’s degree course or PhD where they are studying medicine, veterinary medicine and science, or dentistry as their principal course of study, or to complete their principal course will be exempted from the requirement to show academic progression;
  5. Any applicants who are using loans for maintenance purposes must have access to them before their arrival in the UK. They will also be able to pay any amount of this loan directly to an educational institution should they need to do so for fees.

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