April 3, 2009
New student immigration system launches in UK


From this week, students looking to study in the UK will be able to apply for their visa through Tier 4 of the new streamlined Points Based System.{{more}}

Under the new transparent system, students will need to prove that they have been accepted onto a course run by an education institution which is a UK Border Agency (UKBA) licensed Tier 4 sponsor, prove that they have the means to support themselves, and supply their biometric details at their local visa application centre.

If granted a visa, the new regulations allow international students to undertake part-time work of up to 20 hours per week during term time, full time work during the holidays and undertake any course related work placements.

For the first time, all independent fee-paying schools, colleges and universities that want to accept international students to study with them now need a licence to do so. This will help the UK Government crack down on bogus colleges, something which will be welcome news to many students, who can now be sure the language school, college or university they intend to study at is an approved educational institution. So far over a thousand UK institutions have signed up to sponsor international students.

Applying for a General Student visa or a Child Student visa under Tier 4 is a simple process and should be done in the country of which the student is a national or a legal resident. For the application to be successful the student will need: A current passport or travel document; A visa letter from the institution you are planning to study at; Proof of maintenance funds; Evidence of any qualifications the sponsoring institution took account of when deciding to accept the student for the course he/she plans to study; Any other supporting documents relevant to the application.

The student will also need to make an appointment at the nearest visa application centre to provide biometric details (10 digit finger scans and a digital photograph) as part of the application process.

The UK Border Agency will refus.e the application and the student may be banned from coming to the UK for 10 years if the student uses a false document, lies or withholds relevant information.

Students looking to study in the UK for six months or less, and who do not wish to take any employment while they are in the UK, or to extend their stay while they are in the country, can enter the UK on a student visitor visa.

For more information on student visa products please visit