UK Border agency comes out with two new policy announcements
Tags: Tier 4 visa, foreign students, studying in the UK
1st October 2009: In future, if the students want to study with a new Tier 4 sponsor and have made their last application for a Tier 4 visa on or after 5 October 2009, they will need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa.
The UK Border Agency has clarified that the students will not be allowed to begin studying with the new education provider until they have received a decision on the outcome of their application. If they do so, they will be committing a criminal offence for which they could be prosecuted or removed from the country.
The directives form a part of new policy for Tier 4 sponsors and would-be students announced by the UK Border Agency in line with the launch of the sponsorship management system for Tier 4 of the points-based system on 5 October 2009.
The new policy centres on two main areas. The first one involves "extending the maintenance concession for Tier 4 applicants, who are already in the United Kingdom". This will help ease the transition process for would-be students.
The second area is "tying Tier 4 students’ permission to stay to their sponsors, if they make their application on or after 5 October" – this will strengthen Tier 4 and strengthen the United Kingdom border.
Elaborating on extending the maintenance concession, the Border Agency says: "Tier 4 applicants need to have enough money to cover their course fees and maintenance. They must normally show they have held this money for a 28-day period ending no more than one month before their application. Until now, they were allowed to show they have the required funds in place on the date when they applied. This concession has ended on 1 October 2009.
The Border Agency adds: "However, we recognise that many students already in the United Kingdom will not have needed to show this money before, so we have decided to allow a longer transitional period for all Tier 4 applications made within the United Kingdom.
"The would-be students, who make a Tier 4 application from inside the United Kingdom before February 2010, will only need to show they have the money needed on the day when they apply. They must still provide the correct documents to support their application".
So now, from 1 October 2009, would-be students applying from outside the United Kingdom must show that they have held the required money for a 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of their application.
On the second aspect of tying Tier 4 students’ permission to stay to their sponsors, the Border Agency says: “On 5 October 2009, new Tier 4 students’ permission to stay in the United Kingdom will be ‘tied’ to the education provider that is sponsoring them. This will bring Tier 4 in line with other tiers of the points-based system.
From 5 October, every new Tier 4 student will find their sponsor’s reference number on the vignette in their passport or on their identity card for foreign nationals”.
So, in future, if a student wants to study with a new Tier 4 sponsor and they made their last application for a Tier 4 visa on or after 5 October 2009, they will need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa.
“We have been asked whether students in this situation will be able to begin studying with the new education provider, at their own risk, before they have received a decision on their application. The UK Border Agency cannot condone a criminal offence, and therefore cannot advise students that this is an option for them. We will make every effort to ensure that applications from students wishing to change education provider are considered within the published service standard, so that they can move to the new education provider as quickly as possible.
If a student wants to study with a new Tier 4 sponsor, and they made their last application for a Tier 4 visa before 5 October 2009, they will continue to be allowed to change their without making a new Tier 4 application. They must, however, seek permission from us to change their sponsor,” the Border Agency concludes.