The Immigration rules changed 5 October 2020, bringing the ‘new points-based system’ Student route into force. This may affect:
- Non-European students who are currently in the process of preparing for a student visa application (including applying with dependants) to study a course in the UK;
- Students who currently hold a Tier 4 student visa and intend to study a further course in the UK upon completion of their current course, as well as their dependants;
- Students from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, who have not lived in the UK before and intend to first arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021 to study a course which is longer than 6 months.
Non-European students who are currently in the process of preparing to make a student visa application (including applying with dependants) to study a course in the UK:
- If your CAS shows that it is assigned under the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme (1-year Master’s student only), you will no longer be eligible for the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme because the scheme would have closed. There is no need to update your CAS, but this means unless you are a low risk national, it is likely that you will now need to submit financial evidence to the UKVI in support of your visa application. Please take great care and ensure that your financial evidence meets the requirement to avoid a visa refusal.
- If you are starting an undergraduate or postgraduate course at RQF 6 or above, there is no longer a requirement to submit academic qualification with your visa application.
- The UKVI is now accepting a wider range of financial evidence. If you have prepared your financial evidence according to the current requirements, they will still meet the new requirements. However, if you are relying on a Student Loan Letter, the letter must now confirm the lender meets the requirement of providing the loan. If the loan letter you have doesn’t state this, you may wish to apply before 5 October 2020.
- The 5-year or 6-year study limit for postgraduate level studies is being removed. This means if you were previously instructed to hold off your visa application because you would have exceeded the study limit, you no longer need to wait.
- When your visa is granted, it will no longer be called a ‘Tier 4’ visa. This is because ‘Tier 4’ is being replaced with ‘Student Route’.
- If you are making your visa application in the UK, and you currently hold a valid visa issued more than 1 year ago, there is no longer a requirement to prepare or submit financial evidence. Please do contact us if you need more information on how to use this provision.
For students from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland:
- If you are currently in the UK, or, would have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021, you should make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme. If you have not lived in the UK before, you will need to arrive in the UK and then apply.
- If you intend to arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021 to study a course which is longer than 6 months, you can now request a CAS from your admissions team in support of a Student Route visa application. You can make your Student Route visa application from 5 October 2020, but your visa will be valid from 1 January 2021. The application process is different to non-EEA students, in that you are not likely to need to attend a visa appointment but can self-enrol biometric data, and that you will receive a ‘secure digital status’ when your visa is granted, not a vignette or BRP.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
At Osbourne Pinner we would be happy to assist with plans for coming to the UK in order to study, as well as renewing or extending Student visas under the new Immigration Rules. Our team of highly skilled immigration specialists will use their expert knowledge and extensive experience to ensure that your application is successful.
Our fully inclusive service includes issuance of CAS where necessary, complete document check, filling out all application forms required, advising on all aspects of the application and no limit to the amount of time that can be spent on your case. As part of our Student Visa service we will fully check the CAS to ensure there have been no errors which could lead to a refusal.