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Tier 4 students’ tied to sponsors if they made application on or after 5 October | Immigration Matters

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From  5 October 2009, all new Tier 4 students’ visas, or “permission to stay”, are ‘tied’ to the education provider that is sponsoring them. This brings Tier 4 in line with other tiers of the points-based system.

After 5 October, every new Tier 4 student will find their sponsor’s reference number on the vignette in their passport or on their identity card for foreign nationals.

In future, if a student wants to study with a new Tier 4 sponsor and they made their last application for a Tier 4 visa on or after 5 October 2009, they will need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa.

They will not be allowed to begin studying with the new education provider until they have received a decision on the outcome of their application. Should they do so, they will be committing a criminal offence for which they could be prosecuted or removed from the country.

The UK Border Agency issued the following statement:

“We have been asked whether students in this situation will be able to begin studying with the new education provider, at their own risk, before they have received a decision on their application. The UK Border Agency cannot condone a criminal offence, and therefore cannot advise students that this is an option for them. We will make every effort to ensure that applications from students wishing to change education provider are considered within the published service standard, so that they can move to the new education provider as quickly as possible.

Students looking to study with a new Tier 4 sponsor who made their last application for a Tier 4 visa before 5 October 2009, will continue to be allowed to change their without making a new Tier 4 application. They must, however, seek permission from us to change their sponsor.

There are now effectively three categories of student visa holders in the UK.

  1. Those with pre-Tier 4, old style, student visas applied for before 31 March 2009
  2. Tier 4 student visa holders who applied between 31 March and 5 October
  3. Post 5 October Tier 4 visa holders

The above changes are part of the phasing in of the full Tier 4 rules and guidance following the initial implementation on 31 March this year. However, eventually all students will be on the same visas and will be tied to their educational provider. 

Related articles:

Student checks ‘don’t work’ reports BBC

Choose visa agents carefully say UK Border Agency

Overseas students delayed by new visa rules say Universities

UK Border Agency advice on Tier 4 Student Visas

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:

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

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3 Responses to “Tier 4 students’ tied to sponsors if they made application on or after 5 October”
Read them below or add one

  1. i am tier 4 student . i have still 1 years visa left but my college is been blacklisted and the license is been taken away.i want to change the college and study in govertment college.so do i have to re apply to study in that college?

  2. dear sir i hav got a tier 4 viza i made my application on 30th septemeber 5 days before 5th october.
    my viza was issued in nov and also have a college sponsor number on it,

    now i want to change my college but am not sure do i have to apply for ma viza again or not?

    thanks in advance

  3. I am a tier4 student whose student visa application was made before 5 oct 2009. Currently i am doing presessional english course, however my main course of study is ABE diploma in business information systems. Can i study Business management in diffrent college after i complete my current english course?

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