What should an international student do if the college they have applied to has their Tier 4 Sponsors licence suspended or withdrawn by the UK Border Agency?
Immigration Matters receives a large number of enquiries from students who have obtained visas or are already studying at a college which was approved by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) but later had its licence suspended.
It is estimated that thousands of students are studying at colleges which previously appeared on the UKBA Tier 4 Sponsors Register, but were later suspended.
The realisation that your college name no longer appears on the list of approved sponsors can send a wave of panic throughout the campus. But do you need to change college immediately?
Many students bolt and hurriedly join another college, in many cases only to later discover that their new college also receives a suspension.
What are the immigration rules?
The UKBA publishes the following guidance on the ‘Studying in the UK’ section its website:
Tier 4 licence suspended
|Licence suspended||What will happen|
|Before you apply to come||You can still apply for permission to come to the United Kingdom but we will hold your application until the suspension is resolved.|
|Before you travel to the United Kingdom||If you have a visa letter that you got before your approved education provider’s license was suspended, and have already been granted permission to enter the United Kingdom, but you have not yet travelled, we will try and contact you to tell you not to come until we have resolved the suspension.|
|If you do travel to the United Kingdom||If you do travel to the United Kingdom, you will be allowed to enter and start studying with your approved education provider.|
|If you are already in the United Kingdom studying||If you are already in the United Kingdom and studying with your approved education provider, we will not tell you if we suspend their licence. However, if the result of the suspension is that your approved education provider loses their licence, we will tell you and your permission to stay will be limited.|
|If you are extending your stay||You can still apply to extend your permission to stay if it runs out when your approved education provider’s licence is suspended, as long as you already have your visa letter. However, we will hold your application until the suspension is resolved.|
Tier 4 licence is withdrawn
|Licence withdrawn||What will happen|
|Before you apply to come||If your approved education provider’s licence is withdrawn, your visa letter will become invalid and you will not be able to use it to support any application for leave to come to the United Kingdom. Any applications made using an invalid visa letter will be refused.|
|Before you travel to the United Kingdom||If you have been given permission to come but have not travelled yet, your permission to come is cancelled.
If you travel to the United Kingdom, you will not be allowed to enter.
|If you are already in the United Kingdom studying||We will limit your permission to stay:to 60 days if you were not involved in the reasons why your approved education provider had their licence withdrawn (we will not limit your permission to stay if you have less than six months left. You may want to apply for permission to stay with another approved education provider during this time);immediately if we think you were involved in the reasons why your sponsor’s licence was withdrawn.|
For further information check the UKBA website or seek advice from a registered immigration adviser or immigration lawyer.