Home > UK Visitors > New Rules on Student Visas

New Rules on Student Visas

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 12 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Uk Student Visa Education Degree Tier 4

As part of the ongoing development of the UK immigration rules, changes have been made to the application process and eligibility criteria for UK student visas. The new rules apply to applications for UK student visas made on or after 3rd March 2010. Further changes to the rules are due to be implemented later in 2010 and it is likely that changes will continue to occur for the foreseeable future. It is, therefore, always important to check on the current requirements before submitting an application.

The changes to the rules affect both the applicants for student visas and the organisations providing the course of education they are to attend. Applicants who already held a student visa before the new rules came into effect, but who apply after 3rd March 2010 to extend their stay in the UK, will have to comply with the new rules.

Applications for Student Visas

Under the points-based immigration system applications for adult or child student visas are made under Tier 4. From 22nd February 2010 new forms and guidance notes were introduced for Tier 4 applications. Any application made on or after that date must be made using the new forms. In addition strict new rules apply regarding the photographs, and other biometric data, of the applicant which must be supplied together with the application.

Detailed guidance on the type of photographs which are acceptable is available from the UK Border Agency website.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies

From 22nd February 2010 all applications for student visas had to be supported by a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from the organisation providing the course of education. Previously applicants had to provide a visa letter with their application. However, these are no longer valid and applications which are not accompanied by a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies will be rejected.

Any applicants who have already obtained a visa letter but have not yet submitted their visa application should ask the education body they will be studying with to supply the appropriate Confirmation of Acceptance. By providing the applicant with a Confirmation of Acceptance reference number, the education course provider confirms that the prospective student satisfies certain eligibility criteria.

Standard of English Language Skills Required

From 3rd March 2010 applicants for general student visas will have to satisfy certain English language skills requirements. The organisation at which the applicant intends to study will have to satisfy the UK Border Agency that the applicant has attained the standard required. In doing so the organisation will have to explain how they tested the applicant’s standard of English.

The standard of English language skills required by foreign nationals applying to study an English language course in the UK is level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). A similar standard of English language skills must also be demonstrated by anyone applying under the General Tier 4 Category to study on a course which is below degree level unless they are going to be taking a foundation degree course.

New Rules on Working During Term-Time

Under the new rules child students aged 16 or 17, and those adult students studying a course which leads to a qualification lower than a degree, will only be able to work for a maximum of 10 hours per week during term-time. This restriction does not apply to course-related work placements which satisfy the immigration requirements. Students on courses that lead to a degree, or to a higher qualification, or those who are on foundation degree courses may work 20 hours per week during term-time. Student visa holders in either category may work full-time during the holidays.

The Dependent Family Members of Student Visa Applicants

Under the new rules students planning to take a course lasting no more than six months may not bring their dependent family with them to the UK. Students on courses which are below degree level may bring their dependent family members with them to the UK but the family members will not be able to work while they are in the UK unless they qualify in their own right for a working visa.

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Hi, I had been a student in the UK for 4 years, my last college revoked then I was struggling to find new college to enrol then I got overstayed for 22 days then I left the UK. my lawyer at that time told me that is ok if I stay up to 28 days after my visa expiry and I could send my application to that period but I got admission from a college but I couldn't get right Ielts score then I came back to my country now I am thinking to apply for student visa again do you think my visa will be granted or ECO will refuse me?
Jila - 12-Aug-17 @ 8:04 PM
Hi I am from Asia I camein uk2009 as a student and my baby born in uk on 2011from 2009 to till now I never back my country now my baby going to full time school and she completely five year is we eligible to apply UK citizens
Anjal - 28-Jan-17 @ 2:56 AM
I am an African first year Tier 4 General PhD student in a UK university. My wife just joined me from Africaas my dependent and has delivered a baby. She also studied for a masters in the UK two years ago. We both have plans to extend our stay in the UK after my PhD. Apart from applying for a Tier 2 visa, how can our baby's birth circumstance help our application for leave to remain?
Keykey - 21-Nov-16 @ 12:00 AM
Liv - Your Question:
Hello, I am a master student ( African student) in the UK and I am pregnant. But the father of my baby is African as well. This is my 4th year in the UK now. I don't know the law and I want to know if my child can have the British citizenship

Our Response:
You can see whether you are eligible to apply via the gov.uk link here. However, you have to resident in the UK for five years and spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months. If you are on a student visa, you may be able to extend your visa until you reach the five year mark, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 2-Aug-16 @ 11:58 AM
Hello, I am a master student ( African student)in the UK and I am pregnant . But the father of my baby is African as well. This is my 4th year in the UK now. I don't know the law and I want to know if my child can have the British citizenship
Liv - 1-Aug-16 @ 4:20 PM
Hello. I came to uk under tier 4 as an International student where my visa got expired last year.I am having a two months baby with a british man who is my partner for a year now. Will I allowed leave to remain in the uk due to my newborn baby and my partner ?
tina - 8-Nov-15 @ 11:37 PM
Eva- Your Question:
Hello. I'm am on a tier 4 visa and I come from Africa. I'm pregnant for an English man and my visa expires in a year. I will be a mother by then and my pregnancy will cause me to interrupt my studies. Will I be able to stay in the country as a mother of an English child and finish my studies as soon as I can or will I be forced to go back home with or without my baby? Please help

Our Response:
You can either apply to extend your visa. Or if you are living with your partner and have a relationship with him, then you can apply to remain in the UK with family, please see link here. However, the child's father will have to fulfil certain financial requirements in order for you to be allowed to stay. I hope this helps.
AboutImmigration - 29-Sep-15 @ 11:31 AM
Hello. I'm am on a tier 4 visa and I come from Africa. I'm pregnant for an English man and my visa expires in a year. I will be a mother by then and my pregnancy will cause me to interrupt my studies. Will I be able to stay in the country as a mother of an English child and finish my studies as soon as I can or will I be forced to go back home with or without my baby? Please help
Eva - 28-Sep-15 @ 9:36 AM
Evaen - Your Question:
Im currently studying in uk as an international student. Will be finishing about next year and have given birth here in uk. However, can my husband (non british and a malaysian) study short course while he is here?

Our Response:
You don't say what visa your husband is on, please see gov.uk link here for more information.
AboutImmigration - 22-Sep-15 @ 2:18 PM
Im currently studying in uk as an international student. Will be finishing about next year and have given birth here in uk. However, can my husband (non british and a malaysian) study short course while he is here?
Evaen - 21-Sep-15 @ 7:13 PM
@mimi - you would need to apply to extend your visas via the link here. I hope this helps.
AboutImmigration - 31-Mar-15 @ 1:39 PM
Hello, three of my kids and i are coming to school in the uk , I will be doing a degree programme which will last for four years and i will like my kids to continue with their studies till the university level. I need your professional advice on how to go about everything please thanks
mimi - 29-Mar-15 @ 12:48 PM
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