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MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED | Immigration Matters

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As if international students have not got enough to worry about, many are now being hit by the new hurdle: the ‘3 year rule’. The UK Border Agency’s Guideline Points-based system (Part 6A) dated July 2011 reads: 

85. A Tier 4 (General) student who is 18 years old and or over is allowed to spend no more than three years in the UK studying below UK Bachelors degree level in his/her lifetime.  We cannot approve new leave for a Tier 4 (General) student to study below UK Bachelors degree level, if he/she has already been studying below UK Bachelors degree level for three years.

How will the 3 year rule affect students?

The 3 year rule will block students who take too long to complete lower level courses.

A number of new rule changes will make it difficult for students to renew visas, especially those at private colleges.  In addition, students renewing visas at private colleges will no longer be allowed to work or sponsor their dependants.

The government’s aim is to ‘encourage’ international students to study at government colleges and universities.

The government has implemented a number of important changes to the points based system this year which are adversely affecting international student’s working hours and their dependants when changing academic institution or renewing visas.

My advice remains the same: consult a qualified immigration adviser before submitting your application to ensure that it is valid and meets the current rules. 

Can my dependant family member work?

I receive a lot of enquiries about dependants and whether they are allowed to work (see June/July article in Planet Philippines).

According to UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs), if your dependants made their immigration applications before 3 March 2010, they should be allowed to work if you had permission to be in the UK for 12 months or more.

If your family members make their immigration application on or after 4 July 2011 rule changes, they will be able to work if you are either:

  • a government-sponsored student taking a course that is over six months long, or
  • taking a postgraduate course (e.g. Masters/MBA) that is at least 12 months long and you are studying at an institution that meets the UK Border Agency’s definition of a higher education institution e.g. – a UK university

See also:

Can family dependants of Tier 4 Students work while studying in the UK?

UK University places filling up faster than last year

Colleges and Universities discount fees to attract more Tier 4 students

Pre Tier 4 students in the UK under the Immigration Rules that were in place before 31 March 2009

New Tier 4 student visa rules now in force

For free immigration news updates, please visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk  or email: info@immigrationmatters.co.uk 

Looking for a Tier 4 college or University or need advice?

UKUS is a free University and College Admissions and advice service based in London, UK. Students interested in studying abroad can complete the Online UKUS Registration Form for more details.

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About

Cynthia Barker is an Immigration Adviser and Co Author of the book: How 2 Come to the UK to Live Work Study or Visit. Cynthia writes a regular immigration column for Planet Philippines and Europhil Journal.

28 Responses to “MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED”
Read them below or add one

  1. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  2. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  3. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  4. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  5. […] are affected by the ‘3 year rule’ because they have failed to complete a course or make satisfactory academic progress with their […]

  6. Do you have evidence that the college is offering the course cheaper for someone who has just arrived from the EU? Normally they need 3 years in the UK.

  7. I am a British Citizen with a British passport . I have just returned to the UK from being overseas with my husband. I want to enrol for a French course in Exmouth to continue my studies. The course costs £103. I have been told that I will have to pay £400+, a much larger fee, because I have not been in the UK or the EU for the last three 3 years. It appears that someone from the EU can arrive and do the course at the reduced price. Unfortunately I’m British so I can’t.

  8. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  9. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  10. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  11. Need help pls! Can someone give me a direct website wherein i can browse the highly trusted list of unis and colleges, thank you.

  12. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  13. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  14. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  15. […] addition the 3 year rule will block those who take too long to complete a lower level course such as an […]

  16. Hello there,
    I just heard some news, I’m wondering is it a rumour or just truth that UKBA lose case relating with tier 4 working rights as mentioned on new rule, students 3 years rule, and some more topics. Is it true or these people are just having fun with their words! Please Kindly reply with all the information relating with these rumours.
    Kind Regards,
    Suscriber

  17. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  18. If I want to renew now with my dependent how much will I show because I font understand any more

  19. Mr Christopher James Doyle says :

    My fionace is on a 3 year student visa that runs out I’n December,I am trying to get my d’ivoise through & finished so I can marry her,if I unable to compleat & remarry I’n time,what are my options,at the latest we would marry I’n January 2012,.ifshe has to go home I know we will face a nightmare,I am a British citizen born and bred,.

  20. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  21. ana maria sumpay says :

    Good day,kindly give me the right university that I can enroll, bec.I’m looking for the hightly trusted university or college that I can enrol. Thank you.waiting for your reply.

  22. tsanzo says :

    As 3 year rule has comes into effect,I would like to know how this will affect those student who have been here for than three years and want to renew their visa so as to study the bachelors degree level this comind school yera.From a fair point of view those in authority must give special consideration to this student as by the time they commenced their course these rules were not in place and if this applied to this student it have a negative impact on this student being unable to get a qualification intended for long time.However this rule should apply to new student as they will plan their studies accoring to this three year time frame.

  23. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  24. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  25. […] MORE CHALLENGES FOR TIER 4 STUDENTS AS ‘3-YEAR RULE’ APPLIED […]

  26. Sandesh says :

    Does Higher Eductaion Institution necessarily means a University only? Does any university colleges falls in the category of HEI if it’s granted a degree awarding power by either Royal Charter, Act of Parliament or Privy Council. I am extending my visa from a University College after July 4 and the course level is NQF Level 6. Will I get 20 hours working right?

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