Making your education count


Nov 30, 2013 (4 years and 6 months ago)


Making your education count
The new Tier 4 General Student visa and
Student Visit visa
Presenters: Angela Slater
and Agnes Butler
Key points for Tier 4 student applicants

Go live date was March 31

Visa letters to be used until March

On-line certificates of acceptance
for study to be used from April

Educational Institutions must be
accepted on to the UKBA sponsor
register to bring in international
students under Tier 4

Specific documents must be
presented by student in order to
get the visa
How do Educational Institutions (EI) join the
sponsor register?

Applications must be made on-line at

EI must pay a fee of £400 to apply for a sponsor licence

Sponsorship team will assess EI’s history, Human Resources procedures,
student attendance records and if satisfactory assign an ‘A’ or ‘B’ rating

EI informed in writing if accepted to register after approximately 6 weeks

EI may then issue letter of acceptance to an international student

EI must comply with UKBA reporting requirements and maintain updated
student records
Tier 4 student minimum requirements

Course must be level A2 or higher of Common European Framework for
English language students

Course must be NQF level 3 for non-English language students

Course must lead to an approved qualification

Course must be:

Full time UK degree level course, or

Part of an overseas Higher Education course equivalent to a UK higher
education qualification at an overseas HE institution (study abroad).

Below degree level course with a minimum of 15 hours per week organised
daytime study (8am to 6pm, Mon – Fri).

Specific maintenance requirement must be met

Specific supporting documentation must be presented
Maintenance requirements
Length of
Where will
(funds needed)
9 months or less
London based
Course fees
+ £800 each
month of course
9 months or less
Outside London
Course fees +
£600 each
month of course
More than 9
London based
First year of fees
+£7,200 for first
nine months in
More than 9
Outside London
First year of fees
+ £5,400 to
cover the first 9
months in UK
Format of maintenance

Official letter from ‘financial sponsor’ stating amount of sponsorship, length
of sponsorship, contact information etc.

Bank statements (savings, current and notice accounts only) Shares, bonds
and pension funds are not acceptable

Applicant must be named on account (shared accounts are OK)

Original statements only (internet statements are only acceptable if they are
stamped on each page by a bank official)

Original signed letter from bank containing all necessary information can be
used in place of statements

Funds must have been held for continuous 28 day period before date of
Concession in place until 30 September 2009 so that applicants must only have required funds at
the time of application
What must the Tier 4 student visa letter include?
Part time work

Tier 4 students may work part time
up to 20 hours per week during
term time and full time during

The Tier 4 visa is evidence of
permission to work. No additional
documentation is required
Work placements and internships

Those undertaking NQF level 3 courses or higher may undertake a work
placement/internship provided that it is no more than 50% of the course. Hours are
unlimited during the work placement/internship

Those enrolled on an HE course overseas coming to the UK on a ‘study abroad’
programme may do a work placement/internship for 50% of the total time spent
in the UK provided that it forms part of the overseas qualification. The
qualification must be equivalent to a UK degree (NARIC)
Tier 4 (General) dependents
What are the regulations for dependents?

Tier 4 (General) dependents are classified as spouse, civil partner, children
and unmarried partners. Applications from other dependent relatives must
be referred on a case by case basis.

Adult dependents may work provided that the Tier 4 (General) main
applicant has been granted LTE for 12 months or more.

Tier 4 (Child) may be accompanied by a parent provided that the child is 12
years old or younger

Dependents must also meet maintenance requirements
Miscellaneous Tier 4 facts

To be aware

Foreign language documents must be accompanied by a fully certified
translation by a professional translator

Tier 4 applicants may enter the UK up to four weeks prior to their official
course start date (as specified on the visa letter)

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) requirements remain

All financial evidence must be dated no more than one calendar month
before application date

Provisional student loans not acceptable. Letter must state that the ‘loan will
be available on the issue of the visa’

All documents must be original and
Ten year ban for forged documents or false

Documents are checked for authenticity.
Anyone caught submitting a forged document or
making false representations will be subject to a
ten year ban from the UK
Tier 4 process
How many points do I need to qualify?
Tier 4 (Student) Pass Mark = 40 points

Valid visa letter from a licenced
sponsor = 30 points

Maintenance and fees requirement =
10 points
Granting of leave to enter
Description of Category
Period of leave to grant
Courses of study (12 months or
more) at degree level or above
Full length of course plus 4 months
after the end of your course
Courses of study below degree level
Full length of course up to a maximum
of 3 years. An extra 2 to 4 months will
be granted depending on the length of
the original course
How do I apply?

Go to
and complete a ‘PBS Tier 4 student’
application form

Pay the entry clearance fee (and return mail fee) on line by visa or
MasterCard (£145)

Schedule an appointment on line for biometrics collection at one of over 130
Application Support Centers

Print a copy of the completed on line form and attend the biometrics

Mail the application (and ALL supporting documents) to the applicable entry
clearance issuing post

Allow 5 to 15 days for processing.

The passport (and other original documents) will be mailed back to applicant
by UPS.
The applicant
places the four
fingers of their
the capture plate,
and presses
The applicant
places the four
fingers of their
the capture plate
in the same way.
The applicant finally
of their
on the capture
plate in the same way.
The Biometric Process
Where do I send the application to?
How do we keep applicants informed of progress
of the application?

Applicants can verify with their carrier that the application has been
successfully delivered

Upon opening the application (normally one to five days later) the applicant
will receive an email informing them of the estimated processing time of the

When the application is resolved, the applicant will receive another email
informing them of the outcome of the application and the tracking number of
the return UPS package

We cannot respond to individual status requests
What is a Student visitor?

If you are a Non-Visa National (e.g. US citizen), entry clearance is
You can be admitted as a student visitor at the port of entry
provided that:
your course is six months or less
you intend to study at an acceptable institution
you do not want to work or undertake a course-related work placement
you have no intention of extending your stay in the UK.

If you want to work, undertake a course related work placement or extend
your stay while you are in the UK you will need to apply for a
Student visa (Tier 4)
Acceptable Institutions for Student Visitors

To qualify for entry as a Student Visitor you must have been accepted to
study at:
An institution which holds a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence; or
An institution which is accredited by one of the UK Border Agency’s approved
accreditation bodies; or
An overseas Higher Education Institution which only delivers part of its
programmes in the UK and holds its own national accreditation and which
offers degrees which are equivalent to UK degrees (NARIC)
US teachers accompanying students to the UK

May accompany US students on study abroad programmes

Main role should be administration, advising and looking after the students

Lesser role can be teaching the students ONLY at the institution they are

Must remain employed and paid in US by the US academic institution

Must not intend to base themselves in the UK

Maximum stay of 6 months

Entry Clearance optional for non-visa nationals but should have a detailed
letter available at port of entry (stating that entry is being sought under
paragraph 46(G)(e) of the Immigration Rules)
Most common reasons why processing is delayed
or application is refused
Applicant forgets to send original and valid passport!
Applicant submits copies or electronic copies of supporting documents.
Application sent to the wrong issuing post
Application split up in to several packages
Application form not properly completed (insufficient information)
Applicant forgets to send photos.
Applicant forgets or is unwilling to submit financial documents.
Applicant applies too late.
Biometrics do not record properly.
Applicant’s course does not meet the requirements of the rules.
Applicant does not provide clear contact details
Where can I get more information?
Student brochures give
overview of tier 4 and
student visitor
requirements and how
the points are allocated
Information on the web and call centre

+44 (20) 8099 5462 ($12 flat rate applies)
Angela Slater
Entry Clearance Manager

Agnes Butler
Senior Entry Clearance Officer