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Student Visa: Tier 4 Scheme

The tier 4 new Points based UK immigration service focuses upon overseas students who wish to gain entry clearance to study in the UK. The earlier system of student visa has been phased out and replaced by Tier four point based system. The new system places more emphasis upon the responsibility of the educational body in question for the applicants they permit to study. The aim of this tier immigration service is to provide a more user-friendly, transparent route to studying in the UK.

In the point based system category tier 4 (student), the sponsor will be the educational institution offering a place which a student has accepted. Each sponsoring institution will be required to vouch for the ability of the students.

Points Criteria

Before you apply under student visa category (Tier 4), you must have:
- A sponsorship
- And Maintenance funds.

Points are awarded based on the following: Sponsorship

30 points(Having a visa letter from a licensed sponsor containing an unconditional offer of a place on a course of study at an acceptable level)

Maintenance requirement

10 points(Having enough money to cover the course fees and monthly living costs for up to one year)

At The Angel World our immigration consultant can guide you at every stage of obtaining a visa for the UK, whichever tier visa service is right for you. As a specialist UK immigration consultancy, we can offer immigration lawyer advice on your initial application and can help you adjust to living and working in the UK through a range of on arrival services.

Duration

Students will be granted leave to enter the UK for the purposes of completing their course at a specified institution. The grant will also take into account the time needed to conclude affairs and attend graduation. Changing from one course to another at the same establishment will not require a new application; however, changing a sponsor or obtaining a UK tier visa extension will require a further application to be lodged. This level of the new system is not designed as a route to settled status in Britain and does not provide the opportunity to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR) or permanent residency. A Tier 4 visa is a temporary immigration service designed with a specific purpose in mind and will not lead to British naturalization as a UK citizen.

Categories of student

Students are divided into three categories when applying for a UK visa at this level. Each category requires the satisfaction of separate criteria as set out below.

General Student

Students studying in Britain at or above degree level in a publicly funded institution, or engaging in more than 15 hours of study per week. In this category, work is permitted for 20 hours each week rising to full time hours during holiday periods. Dependents are permitted to join student in this category.

School

Students in full time study at an independent school up to the age of 18. Working hours are the same as the general student category but dependents are not permitted.

Study Through Work

Students on courses of work experience or placements. Working hours will be the same as the other two categories and dependents will be permitted in instances where the principal applicant will be in the country in excess of 12 months.

Educational Institution Obligations

Educational institutions offering study places to overseas students will need to attain the status of approved sponsors by demonstrating that they are bona fide establishments, rather than non-accredited or purely commercial operations. Certificates of sponsorship act as verification from a college or university that students making UK visa applications will abide by the rules and requirements of their course. Educational institutions will also be obliged to report non-enrolment and non-attendance.

Additional information

As noted, dependents of students making a successful UK visa application will be permitted to enter the country, however, as with tier 3 visas and tier 5 visas this tier is regarded as a temporary immigration route. Unlike tier 1 and tier 2 visas, Spouse immigration and dependent immigration in these circumstances will also be temporary and will reflect the grant of leave awarded to the principle applicant. Family visa services such as the marriage visa, fiancé visa and unmarried partner visa, or De Facto visa will continue to function independently of the new system, however they will not apply to application of this kind.

IGS The International Graduates Scheme:

The International Graduates Scheme has now closed to new applicants. If you wish to come to the United Kingdom to work, or if you are already here and wish to extend your stay by switching into a working category, you will need to apply under our new points-based system. If you are already in the United Kingdom under the International Graduates Scheme (or the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme that preceded it), you should see Transitional arrangements for migrants on the International Graduates Scheme or Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme

  1. Transitional arrangements for migrants on the International Graduates Scheme and the Science and
  2. Engineering Graduate Scheme

This page explains the temporary arrangements we have made for migrants who are currently in the United Kingdom with permission to stay under the International Graduates scheme and the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme. These and other categories have been deleted as we introduce Tier 1 of the points-based system. These transitional arrangements apply after the International Graduates Scheme is deleted on 30 June 2008. If you still have valid permission to stay in the United Kingdom (known as leave to remain) under the International Graduates Scheme or the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme on or after 30 June 2008, when we introduced of the points-based system, you will be able to apply to extend your permission to stay in your existing category for long enough to give you a combined total of two years under your current category and the Post study work category. This will be a one-off transitional arrangement. We also have special provisions for people who are British nationals (overseas), British overseas territories citizens, British overseas citizens, British protected persons or British subjects who arrived here without prior entry clearance and received limited leave to enter under the International Graduates Scheme or the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme. These provisions enable them to extend their stay in the United Kingdom for up to two years in a combination of their current category and the Tier 1(post study work) category.

PLAB Test

If you come to the United Kingdom to take the PLAB test, you will be given permission to enter and stay in the United Kingdom for a maximum of six months. If you have not been able to take the PLAB test within this time, you will need to apply to extend your stay. You will be able to stay in the United Kingdom for a maximum of 18 months in total to undertake the PLAB test.

POST GRADUATE DOCTOR OR DENTIST

If you come to the United Kingdom as a postgraduate doctor or dentist, you will be given permission to enter and stay in the United Kingdom for a maximum of 26 months. If you have not finished your course within this time, you will need to apply to extend your stay. You will able to stay in the United Kingdom for a maximum of three years in total as a postgraduate doctor or dentist.

 

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