Personal Immigration

Tier 4 Sponsor License Suspended: Advice for Students

The Home Office can suspend an institution's Tier 4 sponsor license temporarily if they are investigating the institution. The result of the investigation will be either that the license is reinstated, or that it is revoked completely.

On 24 June 2014, the Home Office took action against three universities:

• Glyndwr University: Tier 4 license suspended
• University of West London: unable to sponsor new students (assign zero Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies)
• University of Bedfordshire: unable to sponsor new students (assign zero Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies).

In addition, the Home Office has suspended the Tier 4 sponsor licenses of 57 private colleges.

How this affects students?

Students studying or applying to study at institutions assigned zero Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS):

  • Students who are already studying with their sponsor:

These students are not immediately affected. Their visa/leave to remain is still valid. They can continue to study and travel to and from the UK as normal, subject to meeting the other immigration requirements.

  • Students who have an outstanding overseas visa application, or application to extend their leave to remain in the UK:

These students are not immediately affected. Outstanding visa applications relying on a CAS issued before the action was taken will be processed as usual. Existing visas/leave to remain are still valid.

Students studying or applying to study at institutions whose licence is suspended:

  • Students who are already studying with their sponsor:

These students can continue studying while their sponsor's licence is suspended.

  • Students who have a visa to come to the UK but have not yet travelled:

These students are strongly advised not to attempt to travel to the UK until the suspension has been resolved. Students should check the register of sponsors for any change in their sponsor's circumstances.

  • Students have an outstanding visa application to come to the UK, or who have been issued with a CAS and intend to apply for a visa:

Visa applications relying on a CAS that was issued before the sponsor's licence was suspended will be placed on hold. New applications will be accepted but placed on hold.

  • Students with an outstanding application to extend leave to remain the UK, and those who need to make such an application:

Students can still extend their permission to stay if it is due to expire when the Tier 4 sponsor's licence is suspended, as long as they were issued with a CAS before the licence was suspended. These applications will be placed on hold until the suspension is resolved.

  • Students who are on holiday overseas when their sponsoring institution's licence is suspended:

Students with a current valid visa will be able to return to the UK and continue studying (subject to satisfactorily meeting all other immigration requirements).

  • Students whose sponsor has had its licence suspended and have not yet applied:

Students in the UK or overseas who are planning to apply to one of the institutions named above but have not yet done so, should check the register of sponsors regularly for any change in the institution's sponsor status or consider an alternative establishment. Prospective students can find an alternative sponsor by applying to another institution.

If the Home Office action results in an institutions' licence being revoked, what will happen to its students?

If the outcome of the Home Office investigation into the institution's actions is that a licence is revoked, your current visa will be limited to 60 days (or however long you have left on the visa if it is less than 60 days). You will need to find a new course with a different education provider. Or you will have to leave the UK if you are not able to find a new sponsor in this time.

Your visa will be withdrawn immediately if you are involved in the reasons for the withdrawal.

If the institution loses its sponsor license, the Home Office will publish further information and write to any affected students.

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