The UK Border Agency will implement a number of important changes to the student tier of the Points-Based Immigration System, including introducing secure English Language tests for students under Tier 4 (General) of the points-based system on 12 August 2010.
The new rules apply to student visa applicants studying a course below NQF Level 6 (except a Foundation Degree or an English language course), using a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) issued on or after 12 August 2010. Their Tier 4 sponsor must ensure that they are competent in English language at a minimum of level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) by showing the student:
- Is from a majority English-speaking country; OR
- Has successfully completed a course as a Tier 4 (Child) student (or under the student rules that were in force before 31 March 2009, if they were granted permission to stay while they were under 18 years old) which lasted at least six months and ended no more than two years before the date when the CAS is assigned; OR
- Has passed an English language test with an approved test provider for Tier 4, and has achieved at least CEFR level B1 in all four components (reading, writing, speaking and listening).
Level B1 on the CERF is equivalent to an IELTS 4, which should not be a problem for Filipinos.
Further changes include new rules for students applying to change to a different education provider, something which thousands of Tier 4 students have been forced to do after their college was closed down by the UK Border Agency.
From 23 July 2010, current UK Student Visa holders who want to change to a sponsor with a Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) licence will be able to begin their new course of study, at their own risk, while they are waiting for the UK Border Agency to make a decision on their application to change sponsor.
Students applying to change to an A- or B-rated sponsor are not permitted to begin their new course of study until they receive a positive decision from the UKBA on their application to change sponsor.
If your college sponsor licence has been suspended or revoked and you need advice, Bison UK are offering FREE consultations for students.
For free immigration news updates, please visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk
Cynthia Barker is an OISC registered immigration adviser with Bison Management UK.
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