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The UK Border Agency is pushing ahead with further Immigration Rule changes coming into effect on 4 July 2011, which will have serious consequences for Tier 4 students studying at private colleges.

From 4 July the UK Border Agency will:

  • restrict work entitlements to migrants studying at higher educational institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges only;
  • restrict the sponsorship of dependants to those studying at postgraduate level at HEIs on courses lasting at least 12 months, and government-sponsored students on courses lasting at least 6 months;
  • require education providers to vouch that a new course represents genuine academic progression;
  • ensure that maintenance funds are genuinely available to the applicant, by introducing a declaration on the visa application form;
  • commit to publish a list of financial institutions that we consider, on the basis of experience, do not verify financial statements to our satisfaction in more than 50 per cent of a sample of cases;
  • introduce a streamlined application process for low-risk nationals applying to attend courses with Highly Trusted Sponsors;
  • extend the list of courses for which students must receive ATAS clearance;
  • restrict the ability to deliver accountancy courses accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to those sponsors accorded platinum or gold status by ACCA; and
  • clarify the position of overseas universities with campuses in the UK.

How does this affect you?

This means that if you renew your visa for a private college or change college after 4 July 2011, you will not be able to work and you will not be able to sponsor your dependant. 

A revised version of policy guidance document for Tier 4 migrants, and a statement of intent summarising the new student visa policy, can also be downloaded from UKBA website. 

How does this affect current students in the UK who have valid student visas?  

No need to panic.  If you already have valid leave or visa, you will not be affected by the new rules. However, if you transfer college from 4th July, you will follow the new rules. 

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

Looking for a 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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