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TIER 4 (STUDENTS)
We are currently representing a large number of international students at various stages in their UK immigration matters, including on initial application, at appeal stage and in seeking solutions where there are no appeal rights.

There are a range of student visas (and categories for leave to remain) available under Tier 4 of the Points Based System.

Under Tier 4 (General) adult students aged 16 or over can apply to come to the U.K. for studies at an education provider which holds a valid Sponsor license issued by the UK Border Agency. Students must pass a points test and show that they meet the minimum criteria scoring 40 points.

To score the necessary points, firstly a valid Visa Letter issued to students by their education provider (until February 2010) or alternatively, a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), is required. 30 points is awarded for a valid Visa Letter or CAS.  It is important that the visa letter is in the correct format and is accompanied by the relevant documents, failing which no points will be awarded by the UK Border Agency.

Secondly, evidence of sufficient funds to pass the maintenance test provides the remaining 10 points required.  The amount of funds that an applicant must have and be able to to evidence is calculated  based on the length of the course, the tuition fees still owed for the first academic year and where the education provider is based.

Visas or leave to remain should be issued for the duration of the course.
Those students coming to the U.K under Tier 4 (General) as adults may spend a maximum of 3 years on courses below degree level Adult students are permitted to work for up to 20 hours a week during term time and full time during vacations.

If a student in the U.K wishes to change education provider while in the U.K, they  must obtain a new Visa Letter or CAS from the new education provider and must make a new application. This is because the student’s Tier 4 leave is tied to the education provider for which leave was granted.

Students applying from the U.K whose applications are refused may be entitled to a right of appeal. Those applying from outside the U.K have a right of administrative review.

Tier 4 adult
students may be permitted to switch into certain categories such as Tier 1 (Post Study Work) or Tier 2 – Skilled Workers, from within the U.K. 
The Immigration Rules provide for the family members of Tier 4 Migrants to apply to join or to accompany them in the UK. It is particularly important that maintenance funds requirements are met.

Whilst the rules are similar for Tier 4 (Child) applicants (between 4 and 17 years of age), there are also differences. Those children between the age of 4 and 15 years must be coming to the U.K to be educated at an independent fee paying school. Children under the age of 16 will be granted up to six years' leave to remain or the duration of the course, plus one month before the course starts and one month after it ends. For children aged 16 or over the maximum period of leave granted is two years.

The Student Visitor
category is for individuals who are 18 years or over and who want to come to the U.K.  to do a course for up to six months and do not want to work while in the U.K  Student visitors cannot switch to adult student visas from within the U.K or switch into any other category. They would need to apply from their own country.

We assist Tier 4 applicants and their dependants with initial applications, appeals and administrative reviews.

Please telephone us or e-mail us if you would like to speak to one of the Partners regarding a student matter.

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The Right to Marry in the UK and Closure of the Certificate of Approval Scheme on 9th May 2011.
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Changes to Student visas effective from 21 April 2011.
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Changes relating to Re-entry bans - reduced from 5 years to 2 years where individuals voluntarily return – April 2011.
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Post-Study Work (PSW) to close from April 2012.
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Changes affecting settlement applications - New criminality and income requirements – from 6th April 2011.
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Accreditation Requirements - Important news for Colleges and Universities under Tier 4.
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Faster routes for settlement for Investors and Entrepreneurs under Tier 1 – March 2011.
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Closure of Workers Registration Scheme (WRS) – 10 March 2011.
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Tier 2 - skilled workers: Changes to Tier 2 (General) – limit on visas, changes to Shortage occupations list and Graduate level requirements started. – March 2011.
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