Tier 4

Tier 4 – Student Visas

Changes have been effected on 21 April 2011 implementing more stringent rules in the Tier 4 Student category with an attempt to crack down on bogus colleges and fraudulent applications from foreign students. Since its implementation, almost a quarter of applications from independent schools, colleges and universities have been screened out, the Government revealed.

 

Institutions are obligated to register with the UK Border Agency before they are recognised as a sponsor and are able to sponsor international students to come here under the student tier.

 

Approved Education Provider

 

Under the new Tier 4 regulations, the education provider must be registered and apply for a sponsor licence before they are able to accept international students and to issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) in the UK.

 

There are 2 types of student categories in Tier 4 of the points-based system.

  1. Adult Student (General) – if you are coming into the UK for post-16 education
  2. Child Student – for children between 4 to 17 years old to come to the UK for their education

 

Eligibility

 

Under Tier 4, an applicant must score:

  • 30 points for doing a course work with an approved education provider; and
  • 10 points for maintenance (funds)

 

Course at an Acceptable Level

If you are studying with a Tier 4 sponsor that has a Highly Trusted Sponsor licence, you can obtain a CAS for a course that leads to an approved qualification for Home Office purposes and is:

 

  • Approved at level 3 or above on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) or Qualifications and Credits Framework (QCF) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; or
  • Accredited at level 6 or above in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) by the Scottish Qualifications Authority; or
  • A short-term Study Abroad programme in the UK as part of the Tier 4 (General) student’s qualification at an overseas university, as long as the qualification is confirmed as being at the same level as a UK degree by UK NARIC. Contact details for UK NARIC can be found on their website at: www.naric.org.uk/; or
  • An English language course at level B2 or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Please note that in addition to the above, Highly Trusted Sponsors can offer courses which include work placements.

 

If you are studying with a Tier 4 sponsor that has a standard licence and is rated either A (Trusted) or B (Sponsor), then you can obtain a CAS for a course that leads to an approved qualification for Home Office purposes which is:

 

  • Approved at level 4 or above on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) or Qualifications and Credits Framework (QCF) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; or
  • Accredited at level 7 or above in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) by the Scottish Qualifications Authority; or
  • A short-term Study Abroad Programme in the UK as part of the Tier 4 (General) student’s qualification at an overseas university, as long as the qualification is confirmed as being at the same level as a UK degree by UK NARIC. Contact details for UK NARIC can be found on their website at: www.naric.org.uk/; or
  • An English language course at level B2 or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • Sponsors with a standard Tier 4 sponsor licence rated either A (Trusted) or B (Sponsor) cannot offer courses below degree level that contain work placements.

 

Duration

 

Type of course Length of course Length of stay allowed
Main course of Study(including Sabbatical Officers) 12 months or more The full length of the course plus 4 months after the end of the course
6 months or more, but less than 12 months The full length of the course plus 2 months after the end of the course
Less than 6 months The full length of the course plus 7 days after the end of the course
Pre-sessional courses 12 months or more The full length of the course plus 4 months after the end of the course
6 months or more, but less than 12 months The full length of the course plus 2 months after the end of the course
Less than 6 months The full length of the course plus 1 month after the end of the course
Postgraduate doctors and dentists on a recognised Foundation Programme The full length of the course (up to a maximum of 3 years plus 1 month after the end of the course)

 

 

Maintenance (Funds)

 

You must show that you have enough money to cover your monthly living costs whilst you are studying in the UK. The amount of money you have to show will depend on whether you already have an established presence studying in the UK.

 

If you do not have an established presence studying in the UK, you must show that you have money for your living costs for each month of your course up, to a maximum of 9 months.

 

If you have an established presence studying in the UK, you must show that you have money for your living costs for each month of your course up to a maximum of 2 months.

 

How much money must you have

 

If you do not have an established presence studying in the UK, you must show that you have money for your course fees plus:

 

  • Inner London £1020 for living costs for each month of your course up, to a maximum of 9 months.
  • Outer London or anywhere else in the UK £820 for living costs for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months.

 

If you have an established presence studying in the UK, you must show that you have money for your course fees plus:

 

  • Inner London £1020 for living costs for each month of your course, up to a maximum of 2 months.
  • Outer London or anywhere else in the UK £820 for living costs for each month of your course up to a maximum of 2 months.