The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has recently published proposed criteria to become a Highly Trusted Sponsor under Tier 4, which may be the final ‘nail in the coffin’ for some private colleges.
Many private colleges are giving up simply shutting their doors and telling their students to “find another college”.
Tier 4 students are also utterly confused by further set of rule changes. In the last few weeks I have received an increasing number of calls and emails from panic stricken students reporting that their college had ‘closed down’, usually following their suspension from the Tier 4 Sponsors Register or perhaps following changes to the Tier 4 Immigration Rules on 4 July 2011.
Furthermore, students assume that if they are registered with any ‘Highly Trusted’ institution, they will be treated equally. NOT TRUE if the ‘highly trusted’ sponsor is also a private college. A private college is a private college no matter how ‘highly’ they are trusted, and students applying to those colleges will not be allowed to work or sponsor their dependants.
To remind you, goalposts were moved again on 4 July so that students applying for visas or extension after this date are:
- only allowed to work if they are sponsored by government universities or higher education institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges to work part-time during term time and full-time during vacations;
- only allowed to sponsor dependants if they are studying at or sponsored by HEIs on postgraduate courses lasting 12 months or longer, and of government-sponsored students on courses lasting longer than 6 months;
- only able to obtain a CAS if the institution has confirmed that their course represent genuine academic progression from any previous courses studied by the student in the UK – see also the 3 year rule and reference requirements which are preventing many students from renewing their visas.
Large numbers of students have also jumped from one private college to another without being able to prove that they have ever finished a course or made satisfactory progress. Progress reports and references have always been a vital requirement and colleges who do not take take these up will find themselves in trouble.
Recent Tier 4 student visa changes do not affect EU migrants such as Bulgarian and Romanian students coming to the UK to study and work on a Yellow Card. They need to find a college on the ‘pre-tier 4′ DIUS register and can still work full time when taking a vocational work based course, such as an NVQ or QCF in health and social care.For free immigration news updates, please visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org