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Published byNora Snow Modified over 7 years 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 st 2009 Visa letters to be used until March 2010 On-line certificates of acceptance for study to be used from April 2010 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 www.homeoffice.gov.ukwww.homeoffice.gov.uk 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 course Where will study Maintenance (funds needed) 9 months or lessLondon basedCourse fees + £800 each month of course 9 months or lessOutside LondonCourse fees + £600 each month of course More than 9 months London basedFirst year of fees +£7,200 for first nine months in UK More than 9 months Outside LondonFirst year of fees + £5,400 to cover the first 9 months in UK TIER 4 (GENERAL)
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 application* * 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? Personal information of applicant and sponsor Applicant’s name, nationality, passport details (optional) Sponsor licence number, address, telno, details of any partner institution (if student will study at two locations) Course details, title, qualification, start/end date, hours per week, address of work placement (if known/applicable) Itemised list of evidence the sponsor used to assess student’s ability ATAS clearance (will only be listed if ATAS certificate is needed) Certificates of qualification (previous study) Evidence of previous study for English language courses (original reference with previous course details, dates, contact name etc) Financial Course fees for first year, or length of course (if under 9 months) Course fees paid so far (if applicable) Accommodation fees paid so far (if applicable)
Part time work Tier 4 students may work part time up to 20 hours per week during term time and full time during vacations 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 unchanged 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 genuine
Ten year ban for forged documents or false representations 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 YEAR BAN!
Tier 4 process Educational Institution (EI) applies to join sponsor register (key date was Feb 2 nd, 2009) If approved, EI issues visa letter to applicant Application submitted within 6 months of the visa letter issue date ECO considers visa letter, course fees, maintenance, docs submitted to EI and GGR Visa issued or refused. Refusal attracts Administrative Review
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 CategoryPeriod 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 levelFull 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 TIER 4 STUDENT
How do I apply? Go to www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk and complete a ‘PBS Tier 4 student’ application formwww.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk 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 appointment 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.
1. The applicant places the four fingers of their right hand flat on the capture plate, and presses gently downwards. 2. The applicant places the four fingers of their left hand flat on the capture plate in the same way. 3. The applicant finally places both of their thumbs 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 application. 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 not mandatory. You can be admitted as a student visitor at the port of entry provided that: 1.your course is six months or less 2.you intend to study at an acceptable institution 3.you do not want to work or undertake a course-related work placement 4.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 General 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: i.An institution which holds a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence; or ii.An institution which is accredited by one of the UK Border Agency’s approved accreditation bodies; or iii.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 attending 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 1.Applicant forgets to send original and valid passport! 2.Applicant submits copies or electronic copies of supporting documents. 3.Application sent to the wrong issuing post 4.Application split up in to several packages 5.Application form not properly completed (insufficient information) 6.Applicant forgets to send photos. 7.Applicant forgets or is unwilling to submit financial documents. 8.Applicant applies too late. 9.Biometrics do not record properly. 10.Applicant’s course does not meet the requirements of the rules. 11.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 www.visainfoservices.com www.ukvisas.gov.uk +44 (20) 8099 5462 ($12 flat rate applies)
Questions? Angela Slater Entry Clearance Manager Agnes Butler Senior Entry Clearance Officer LOS ANGELES
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