Changes Relating to Tier 4 – April 2016

The Home Office has published a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, the majority of which will take effect from 6th April 2016.

  • time spent in the UK with leave under Tier 4 (General) under the age of 18 will henceforth count toward calculation of the maximum period you can spend in the UK under Tier 4 (General)
  • a student will be prohibited from extending their leave to study a course at a lower level than the previous course for which they held Tier 4 permission; the course must be at or above degree level. These students must be “progressing academically”, unless they are taking a course at the same level as their previous course. Their sponsor will also need to confirm that the course is related to the previous course for which the applicant held permission as a Tier 4 (General) Student, or that the courses combined support the applicant’s “genuine career aspirations.” 
  • a further change is being made to tighten the circumstances in which a Tier 4 (General) student, who has previously studied in the UK, can switch courses without obtaining a new visa
  • those applying under Tier 4 (General) to study a short-term ‘study abroad’ programme in the UK as part of their undergraduate or postgraduate degree at an overseas higher education institution in the USA, will be exempt from the English language requirements in Tier 4
  • maintenance requirements will be reduced for those applying under Tier 4 as a student union sabbatical officer or postgraduate doctor/dentist on a recognised Foundation Programme, bringing them in line with Doctorate Extension Scheme students, who can also work full-time
  • students will not be able to set up businesses in which they are not the controlling shareholder
  • transitional protection is provided for those whose independent schools become academies
  • a new genuineness test will be introduced for short-term students

Read the Statement of Changes here.

Please contact your DWI advisor if you have any queries. 


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