Changes to Tier 4 of the Points Based System

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Following the decision made in the Judicial Review case brought by English UK, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has made a series of amendments to the Immigration rules under Tier 4 of the Points Based System (PBS).

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The changes are:

Level of English language study:

The minimum level of English Language course that is now permitted of the Tier 4 of the PBS is Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference. This restores the position that was in place prior to the judgment being handed down.

Exemptions to the minimum level that applied previously to government-sponsored language students and those undertaking a pre-sessional English language course prior to pursuing a degree course, remain in place.

Students changing education provider:

Existing Tier 4 students who wish to change to a sponsor that is a Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS), will be able to begin their new course of study, at their own risk, while they are waiting for the UKBA to make a decision on their application to change sponsor.

Students applying to change to an A- or B-rated sponsor will not be able to begin their new course of study until they have received a decision from the UKBA on their application to change sponsor.

US student loans:

Recent legislation changes in the USA has altered the way in which the US government processes student loan applicants. From 1 July 2010, UK institutions participating in the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan Programme (administered by the US Department of Education) will be authorised to offer Federal Direct Loans to students coming from the USA to study in the UK. The US Department of Education has also contacted UK institutions involved in this programme.

This change will affect only those migrants who want to study under Tier 4 of the points-based system.

Students with International Baccalaureate qualifications:

The UKBA is aware that students relying on International Baccalaureate qualifications awarded on 5 July 2010 will not be issued with a paper transcript giving their results, and will not receive their award certificates in time to apply for university courses starting in September this year.

To enable those students to apply under Tier 4 of the PBS, the UKBA has made a provision to accept applications made by students relying on an International Baccalaureate qualification, but who have not received their original award certificate.

If you are interested in UK Visas, contact Migration Expert for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you. You can also try our Visa Assessment to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to the UK.