The TIER 4 - STUDENT VISA ROUTE
The 'Student visa route under the Points Based System - (Tier 4) has been implemented in October 2008 following government changes to the rules. The Home Office has also implemented a register for Schools and Universities to apply to the UK Border Agency to become licensed sponsors. Educational provider who want to be able to sponsor would-be students under Tier 4 should apply for a sponsor license. All education providers wishing to bring students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA); into the UK will need a licence from the UK Border Agency.
Under the new point system, changes to the current system for students will include;
- Only allowing adult students from overseas to study in the UK where they have a proven track record in studying before they can come to the UK; and
- All students must be enrolled on a course at Level 3 or above on the National Qualification Framwork (NQF) or its equivalent or a course at Level A2 of the European Common Framework of Reference for Language if they are seeking to learn English.
From March 2009, Students applying to come to the UK must score 40 points and they have to show that they have sufficient points on the following;
- 10 points - Evidence of sufficient funds to pass a maintenance test; and
- 30 points - The education documents used to obtain an offer from the sponsor, such as qualification certificates
From March 2009, Education providers must:
- Ensure that students comply with the terms of their visa; and
- comply with record keeping duties - keeping copies of passports, keeping and updating students contact details.
UK Border Agency recommends that on the Acceptance of confirmation letter of the Sponsor (Education Providers) must include;
- the would-be students name, nationality and address in country of present residence
- the sponsor's licence number;
- course title
- course start date;
- expected course end date
- the list of documents used by the sponsor to assess academic ability to complete the course;
- the would-be student's passport number.
What type of student visa do I need?
This quick guide explains what type of student visa you should apply for.
Types of student visa
You can apply as a child student if you are between 4 and 17 years old. If you are between 4 and 15 years old, you must be coming to the United Kingdom to be educated at an independent fee-paying school.
You can apply as a child visitor if you are 17 years old or under and you want to come to the United Kingdom to do a course of study for up to six months.You will not be able to switch and apply for a child student visa while you are in the United Kingdom as a child visitor. If you want to apply for a child student visa, you must apply from the country you live in.
You can apply as an adult student if you are coming to the United Kingdom for your post-16 education.Student visitorYou can apply as a student visitor if you are 18 years old or over, you want to come to the United Kingdom to do a course for up to six months, and you do not want to work while you are here.You will not be able to switch and apply for an adult student visa while you are in the United Kingdom as a student visitor. If you want to apply for an adult student visa, you must apply from the country you live in.
You can apply as a prospective student if you want to come to the United Kingdom to help you decide which course to study or if you plan to start a course of study within six months.You will be able to switch and apply for an adult or child student visa while you are in the United Kingdom.
16 and 17 year old students applying to come for more than six months
You and your approved education provider should agree whether you need to apply for an adult or child student visa. If you will be studying a course below National Qualification Framework level 3, you must apply as a child student. If your course is at National Qualification Framework level 3 (or equivalent) or above and is longer than two years, we recommend you apply as an adult student. If you want to study for an English language qualification at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Level A2 or above, you must apply as an adult student.