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Changes to student visa rules are now in force
04 July 2011
Significant changes to the Tier 4 student route of the points-based system have come into effect today.
We have revised the Immigration Rules relating to Tier 4 in order to:
- restrict work entitlements, by only allowing students sponsored by higher education institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges to work part-time during term time and full-time during vacations;
- restrict sponsorship of dependants to those of students sponsored by HEIs on postgraduate courses lasting 12 months or longer, and of government-sponsored students on courses lasting longer than 6 months;
- require institutions to confirm that courses represent genuine academic progression from any previous courses studied by the student in the UK; and
- create a streamlined application process for low-risk nationals sponsored by Highly Trusted sponsors.
These changes are aimed at delivering a strong migration system which tackles immigration abuse while allowing genuine students to study at genuine colleges.
We have also revised the application forms for Tier 4 (General), Tier 4 (child) and dependants under the points-based system. The new versions of these forms should be used with immediate effect.
The changes to the Immigration Rules were laid in Parliament on 13 June. A previous news story gives full details of all the changes and associated amendments that come into force today.