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UKBA publish Statement of Intent and Transitional Measures for Student Visas | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border Agency has published its ‘Statement of Intent and Transitional Measures’ for the student visa changes announced by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, on 22 March. 

The document outlines details of the new guidance, effective 21 April 2011, and dates of implementation of other measures, including the new rules on student working hours. 

The UK Government hopes to ‘ensure a smooth transition with minimal disruption to sponsors’ recruitment plans and student decision making’. 

The first round of implementation, including interim measures, was started by laying changes to the Immigration Rules before Parliament on 31 March, which will come into effect on 21 April 2011. 

There will be further changes to the Immigration Rules taking effect in summer 2011, in April 2012 and by the end of 2012. 

The agency point out that ‘measures outlined in this Statement should not be seen as a definitive account of the requirements that will apply in future. The definitive version will be set out in the Immigration Rules and published formal Guidance for Tier 4 sponsors and applicants. The Statement does, however, represent the Government’s current intentions’. 

OVERVIEW OF THE CHANGES 

The Government will ‘phase in changes to the rules in order to give providers and students time to plan accordingly’. 

Changes include a ban on all work for students applying for visas to study at private colleges from this ‘summer 2011’, a shake up of accreditation bodies and the right to refuse entry to students who fail to demonstrate a competent level of English upon arrival at UK ports.

During a ‘transitional period’ beginning 21 April 2011, those sponsors who do not meet the new requirements as regards educational accreditation and Highly Trusted Sponsor status will be subject to a limit on their allocation of Confirmations of Acceptance for Studies until such time as they meet those new requirements. 

In summary the measures and timetable are as follows: 

Changes from 21 April 2011 

New sponsors not already on the Tier 4 register will have to meet the new educational accreditation criteria in order to be issued a Tier 4 licence. 

Existing sponsors will be subject to an interim limit on the number of students they can sponsor unless they: 

  • hold Highly Trusted Sponsor status; and
  • meet the new accreditation criteria.

Existing sponsors that do not already meet the new accreditation criteria will be required to apply to the relevant inspection body by a date to be announced, in order to be able to continue to sponsor new students, subject to the interim limit, during the transitional period.  

B rated sponsors will not be able to assign CAS to new students (only to those seeking to complete a course). 

A sponsor who is not subject to the interim limit may sponsor, using his own CAS allocation, students studying at a sponsor who is subject to the interim limit, but must take full responsibility for them (e.g. higher education institutions1 could sponsor students at Pathway providers). 

English Language 

The English language requirements for Tier 4 (General) students will be tightened as follows: 

A B1 Secure English Language Test (SELT) requirement for all courses at NQF 3-5 /QCF 3-5 / SCQF 6-8 (ending the current SELT exemptions on pre-sessionals /pathway /foundation degree courses). 

A B2 SELT requirement for courses at NQF 6 /QCF 6 / SQCF 9 and above, with an exception for higher education institutions who can make their own assessment. 

A student may be refused a visa or entry to the UK if he cannot speak English without assistance

The Government will clarify that a CAS may only be issued in respect of a single course, except where the student is attending a pre-sessional course of not more than three months’ duration and has an unconditional offer of a place at a higher education institution or at an independent school starting not more than one month after the end of the pre-sessional course. 

The full document is available on the UKBA website, however, as we have received a number of questions related to working hours allowed for students, we are outlining the Government’s intention below. 

STUDENT PERMISSION TO WORK 

For students sponsored by and studying directly with higher education institutions, we will retain the current level of permission to work at 20 hours per week part-time during term-time for students undertaking courses at degree level or above and 10 hours per week part-time during term time for students undertaking courses below degree level.

All students studying directly with higher education institutions will be able to work full-time during vacations. 

For students sponsored by publicly-funded colleges of further education the Government will also retain the current level of permission to work at 10 hours per week part-time during term-time and full-time during vacations. 

From summer 2011 students who are applying for entry clearance or leave to remain and who are not sponsored by a higher education institutions or publicly-funded further education college will not be granted permission to work at any time during their studies.

See also: 

Student visa changes now Law after being laid before Parliament today

UK student visa restrictions announced by Home Secretary

Post Study Work Visa to be abolished April 2012 as part of student visa clampdown

Universities UK welcome student visa action by Home Office

Cross party MPs warn student visa proposals could ‘cripple’ sector, BBC reports

If you would like more information on the University of Bedfordshire email joanna or call 0208 905 1822.

If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: 

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

Bison UK are running special free student visa seminars to advise students on the new Tier 4 changes and their renewal options.

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14 Responses to “UKBA publish Statement of Intent and Transitional Measures for Student Visas”
Read them below or add one

  1. i am tier4 general student qcf5 my coures duration 2 year diploma my dependent allow to work my visa start is 2 auguest 2011 to december 2013 pls reply me

  2. i want to call my wife over from pakistan, ive been told to do so before the new imigration law takes effect in april 2012, is this true? If so, is it at the start of april 2012 or is there a specific date? Please Help…Thanks

  3. […] statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was announced by the Home Secretary in a statement to Parliament on 22 […]

  4. […] UKBA publish Statement of Intent and Transitional Measures for Student Visas […]

  5. […] UKBA publish Statement of Intent and Transitional Measures for Student Visas […]

  6. are old students visa holders who will renew 2012 are allowed to work after july2011

  7. […] UKBA publish Statement of Intent and Transitional Measures for Student Visas […]

  8. […] UKBA publish Statement of Intent and Transitional Measures for Student Visas […]

  9. Narayan Paudel says :

    Are old students visa holders studying at private colleges who will going to renew there visa this summer are still allowed to work?and what about the dependants of student visa do they have the right to work as well?

  10. Pradhumna says :

    Are old students visa holders studying at private colleges who will going to renew there visa this summer are still allowed to work? And what about the changing their sponsor after the completion of Studies?

  11. is there any possibility to get a sponsership in senior care assistant from 22/04/11 or before

  12. Czelle says :

    Can I still come to uk if I am going to do the ONP? Can I use the tier 4 visa? Will I be allowed to work while I’m on onp?

  13. […] UKBA publish Statement of Intent and Transitional Measures for Student Visas […]

  14. Khailey Cassandra says :

    Are old students visa holders studying at private colleges who will going to renew there visa this summer are still allowed to work?and what about the dependants of student visa do they have the right to work as well?

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