The next set of changes to the Immigration Rules affecting Tier 4 - the student tier - of the points-based system has been laid. The changes will come into effect on 4 July 2011.
The aim of the revised Immigration Rules is to deliver a strong migration system which tackles immigration abuse, while allowing genuine students to study at genuine colleges.
From 4 July, they 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.
These changes were announced by Immigration Minister Damian Green.
There are also a small number of changes being made to bring into effect:
- A new provision for other family members of refugees and beneficiaries of humanitarian protection.
- A minor correction to the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) provisions and clarify a requirement of the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) and Tier 1 (Investor) Rules; and
- A small number of minor corrections and technical changes to the Rules relating to English language requirements for partners and spouses.