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The UK Border Agency has published revised ‘in country’ application forms for tier 4 of the points-based system (PBS) and for PBS dependants. 

Revised forms now available include: 

  • Tier 4 (General) student
  • Tier 4 (Child) student and
  • Points-based system dependant

These forms are only to be used if you are applying ‘in country’ from within the UK.

Forms for overseas applications are available on the visa services website.

Points-based system: Revised policy guidance for tier 4 of the points-based system and for PBS dependants

Revised versions of the policy guidance for tier 4 of the points-based system, and of the PBS dependants policy guidance, have now been published.

Other key changes that are included in the revised guidance are highlighted below: 

Proof of availability of finances – transitional arrangements

There are transitional arrangements in place that allow applicants to show they have the money needed to meet the maintenance requirements of tier 4, on the day that they apply, rather than for a period of 28 days prior to their application. 

Proof of availability of finances – loan documentation

 The policy guidance allows applicants to provide a letter from an appropriately regulated financial institution confirming availability of funds in the form of a loan.

Slight revisions have been made to the required content of these loan letters, to allow for the fact that they will not always include an applicant’s account number.

Official financial sponsorship

Prior to 1 June 2009, there was no provision for a tier 4 migrant’s official financial sponsor to extend their financial sponsorship to the family members of the tier 4 migrant.

From 1 June 2009 a tier 4 migrant’s official financial sponsor will be permitted to extend their financial sponsorship to cover the tier 4 migrant’s dependants.

Electronic signatures on visa letters

Visa letters must be signed and dated by an authorised official (original or electronic signature).

The policy guidance has been revised to clarify that either a digital signature or a scanned signature will be accepted as an ‘electronic signature’ for these purposes.

Maintenance requirements – inner and outer London

Applicants studying in inner London are required to show a higher level of funds to cover their living costs than those studying outside London.

The definition of who the higher maintenance requirements apply to has not changed, but has been altered to clarify the fact that the higher maintenance requirements apply only to those who will be studying in inner London and that applicants who will be studying in outer London, or elsewhere in the UK, will be assessed against the lower requirements.

Date of application

The date of application will be taken to be the following:

For applications made in the United Kingdom

  • where the application form is sent by post, the date of posting
  • where the application form is sent by courier, the date on which it is delivered to the UK Border Agency of the Home Office

For applications made outside the United Kingdom

the date that the fee associated with the application is paid.

This means the date shown on your payment receipt, which depends on how you paid for your visa application, for example, at a British Diplomatic Post, visa application centre or online.

See also: Make sure your college is on the Tier 4 Sponsors Register before renewing your visa, which outlines details of the new 56 page ‘TIER 4 (G)’ form (APPLICATION FOR A GRANT OF LEAVE AND BIOMETRIC IMMIGRATION DOCUMENT UNDER TIER 4 GENERAL STUDENT).

This form replaces the FLR form, clearly requests the ‘Sponsor Licence Number’ in section 3.  

If you need any immigration advice or help with Studying in the UK, Settlement, Citizenship, Sponsorship, extending Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

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