Universities and Higher Education institutions that sponsor international students can now sign up for a range of benefits under a new Premium Service being offered by the Home Office.
The enhanced service, which is being rolled out this summer following a successful year-long pilot, includes a named account manager who will help and support institutions to progress individual cases as well as answer more general queries about the visa service and immigration rules.
The fee for the Premium Service will be £8,000 per annum.
The sponsors who apply for the new service will also be able to request early checks on the immigration status of potential students and monthly updates detailing the progress of all of their students’ applications.
“Our education system is one of the best in the world and the government is committed to welcoming the brightest and the best students to the UK,” Immigration Minister Mark Harper said. “The introduction of the Premium Service is another example of the steps we are taking to improve the visa process while maintaining the security of our border.”
The minister said he was “determined to offer the best possible visa service for genuine students and the education sector.”
Twenty of the universities who took part in the free pilot have already signed up for the paid for service, including Newcastle, Plymouth and Anglia Ruskin. It will be opened up to other highly trusted sponsors over the coming months.