New changes to Tier 4 Student visa

On 13 July 2015 the Home Office announced new changes to the Tier 4 visa category, which were further updated on 30July 2015. According to the Home Office, these changes will be implemented in order to reduce the perceived abuse of the UK immigration system and to attract the brightest and best international students to the UK.

As a result, from August 2015 new students at publicly funded colleges will be banned from working in the UK. On the plus side, university students will be allowed to enrol in a new course at the same level of the previous one if the applicant can evidence that there is a link to their previous course or the university confirms that this supports their career’s aspirations.

As of November 2015 college students will no longer be able to switch into the Tiers 2 or 5 Scheme while in the UK and therefore an entry clearance will be mandatory.

College students will also be banned from extending their Tier 4 visas in the UK unless they are studying at an “embedded college”, one which has a formal, direct link to a university that is recognised by the Home Office. Additionally the limit to study at further education level will be reduced from 3 years to 2 years.

Lastly, from autumn 2015 Tier 4 dependants will no longer be permitted to take low or unskilled job, but part-time or full-time skilled work will be allowed.