Student Visa Route UK

POINTS BASED STUDENT ROUTE FOR COMING TO STUDY IN THE UK

New Points Based Student Route will replace the current Tier 4 Student Visas for the UK.

Students will require 70 points in order to qualify under the new student route. These points are non tradable and will be awarded to students for meeting the requirements of the route as set out by the UKVI.  Entry clearance will be granted to students applying from outside the UK, or if applying from within the UK they will be granted leave.

When a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is issued by an approved educational institution or university on the Register of Sponsors for Students (currently Register of Sponsors for Tier 4), students will be awarded 50 points. 

Details of Course of Study and its requirements, including level of study and qualification requirement will be included in a CAS. 

In order to retain the most accomplished students to continue contributing to the UK after successful completion of their studies, a new graduate route will be launched in summer 2021. This will entitle students to stay in the UK for up to two years (three for PhD graduates) after their graduation. 

If you are a student who has completed a degree at a UK higher education provider and has a record of compliance to immigration rules, you will be able to switch under the new Graduate Route. Once switched to a Graduate Visa you will then be able to work at any skill level and enter into work routes if a suitable job is sourced.

To find out if you will meet the student route requirements, please visit the Points Calculator for UK Student Visas.

Manak Solicitors can assist you at each step in your process for a successful UK student visa application. Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information.

SPONSORSHIP REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS COMING TO THE UK FOR HIGHER OR FURTHER STUDIES

The new points based student route opened on 5th October 2020.  Those eligible to apply for a student visa must be 16 years or over and intend to come to the UK for higher or further studies.

The most significant requirement in order to qualify for the student visa is to have a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). This is a sponsorship by a licensed student sponsor  i.e. University or College.  

It is essential that this sponsor adheres to the immigration compliance and monitors the student during their studies in the UK .Both the registered and licensed sponsor will also need to ensure that students coming to the UK have genuine intentions to study, and that their knowledge of the English language is to a prescribed level.

This requirement will come into effect from 1st January 2021 for students from the EU and EEA, with the exception for students who came to the UK to live before 31st  December 2020. In that case, an application would need to be made under the EU Settlement Scheme.

POINTS CALCULATOR FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS APPLYING FOR STUDENT VISA UK.

Coming to the UK as an international student for higher education, or to extend a student visa is an important decision due to both time and financial investments. 

The UK Government issued a New Student Route for international students.  This involves students from EEA countries needing 70 points in order to be permitted an Entry Clearance Application from outside the UK. 70 points will also be required if students wish to apply for a visa extension to extend a Leave to Remain within the UK.

To help you find the 70 points needed under the new Points Based System of UK immigration, we have put together a Points Based Calculator for student visa applications.  Simply fill in the applicant details below to get started.

CORONAVIRUS IMMIGRATION GUIDANCE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN THE UK.

Following the announcement from the Home Office regarding immigration guidance for international students currently in the UK, and for those anticipating application for a UK student visa, we have extracted the relevant points below for your clarity and ease.

 

It is important to note that guidelines for the Covid 19 Pandemic is under constant review, and therefore it is advisable to also seek advice from the official guidance on the Gov.uk page.

If you have completed your studies and intend to leave the UK:

You may wish to extend your stay in the UK due to circumstances such as travel disruptions, or if you experience symptoms of Covid 19.  Time extensions are possible if your current visa or leave expired between 1st September and 31st October 2020.  This temporary permission will be approved by the Home Office, also known as ‘exceptional assurance’.   Simply contact the coronavirus immigration team (CIT) by filling out an online form.  

After completion of the form, you will be contacted by the Home Office who will inform you if your request for an extension has been granted.  Alternatively, you may be required to submit additional details as proof to why it is not viable for you to leave the UK.

If ‘exceptional assurance’ is granted to you, it will temporarily protect you against any unfavourable consequences after your visa expires and you leave. 

During your period of exceptional assurance you may be entitled to continue work, study or rent accommodation if your current visa permits it. Please note however that ‘exceptional assurance’ is not an extension of your visa, and it will not grant you leave. 

Once you have completed the form requesting ‘exceptional assurance’, you will not need to contact the CIT further as they will be in touch once they have considered all requests. You will not be treated as an overstayer or be subjected to any prejudice in future immigration applications for this period of consideration.

In such cases whereby you require more time or are unable to leave the UK by the assurance date given, you will need to resubmit the online form along with any supporting information. 

If you intend to continue staying in the UK:

 

If your decision is to stay within the UK, you will need to file an application for the required Leave to Remain i.e. visa extension in the UK.

A significant compromise was announced by the Home Office to ease this process for international students. Unlike previous applications that would need to be applied for from your home country, applications can now be submitted from within the UK.  It is essential that you satisfy the requirements of the route you apply for, and duly pay the UK visa application fee and immigration health surcharge.

Until the outcome of your extension application has been decided, the terms and conditions of your leave will stay the same. This means that if you are changing into work or study routes, you may be able to start work or study whilst your application is being reviewed. 

Concession about period between date of application and start date for the course:

This concession is applicable to students who currently have permission on the Student or Child Student routes (including Tier 4).

It is normally mandatory for students to apply to study their chosen course no later than 28 days after their present period of permission expires. However, the Home Office announced that they will exercise discretion with this requirement if the start date of the new course does not extend beyond 31st December 2020.   

This discretion will only be granted if applicants give reasonable explanation in a cover letter as to why their application is urgent.  We are available to assist you in preparing your cover letter or application if you encounter any difficulties.  Please contact us if you have any further questions and we will be happy to help.

UK STUDENT VISA REQUIREMENTS AND HOW TO MEET THEM:

It is essential that you meet all the visa requirements prior to your application for a Student Visa.

There was in excess of 250,000 student visa applications registered in the year ending September 2019 from outside the UK, and during the same period there were around 40,000 applications registered within the UK for extensions of student visas.

In order for visa or extension to be passed, UK Student Visa Applications must meet the following mandatory requirements:

1.) A Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a higher education institute (HEI) is required. A HEI is a recognised body that has its own UK degree-awarding powers, or a body that receives public funding. This certificate can be found on Register of Sponsors for Students.

2.) The knowledge of English Language requirement as specified by the Home Office must be met. 

3.) The Financial requirement must be met i.e. have enough funds secured to sustain yourself and your dependants in the UK.  Calculations are based on your first year (or full fees for a shorter course) and nine months living expenses, depending on whether you plan to study in London or outside.  Other requirements are also expected such as a TB Test Certificate if you anticipate staying in the UK longer than six months.

What happens if your Student Visa Application is refused:

If for any reason your student visa application is rejected, the application fee will not be refunded. Refunds will be given however for any paid Immigration Health Surcharge.

Therefore it is paramount to fully understand the conditions for the UK student visa and be well prepared in advance.  To check if you meet the necessary requirements we advise that you use the Student Visa Points Calculator.

If you encounter any doubts or require any further clarifications, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT FOR THE UK STUDENT VISA APPLICATIONS.

It is essential that you meet English language requirements if you are applying for a visa on the UK Student route. These requirements mean that you must demonstrate English language ability at either:

  • CEFR level B2, where you would be studying a course at degree level or above
  • CEFR level B1, where you would be studying a pre-sessional course or a course below degree level

These CEFR levels derive from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). 

Student applicants will need to demonstrate ability in all 4 of the below components of CEFR unless they are exempt:

1.) Reading

2.) Writing

3.) Speaking

4.) Listening

How can you meet the English Language Requirement?

If any of the following apply to you then you will successfully meet the English language requirement:

  • You are native to a majority English speaking country
  • You successfully met the requirement at the required level in a previous application in 
  • You achieved an English taught academic degree equivalent to a UK bachelors degree or higher
  • You have a GCSE, A level or Scottish Higher qualification from an OFQual (or devolved administration equivalent regulator) in English language or literature, attained through education undertaken while you were aged below 18 and in a UK school
  • You have passed an approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) to the required level

You can also meet the requirement if:

  • You have been assessed by an assured Higher Education Provider sponsor as meeting the required level 
  • You have been made exempt from part of the SELT due to a disability, and your sponsor can confirm your English language ability is adequate to successfully complete the course
  • You are on certain short-term study abroad courses in the UK
  • Your student sponsor identified you as being a ‘Gifted Student’

Exemptions for Students:

In most cases, individuals aged under 18 or over 65 and those with mental or physical disabilities that impede their passing of the requirement are exempt. 

Students who have been any of the following are also exempt:

  • Assessed as meeting the required level by their sponsor who is a compliant Higher Education Provider 
  • Exempted due to a disability from part of the Secure English Language Test (SELT) and the sponsor has confirmed that their level of English language ability to is sufficient to complete their course
  • Identified as a ‘Gifted Student’ under the additional Gifted Student concession which is outside the Immigration Rules

If you are a student with any concerns or doubts regarding the English Language Requirement, please contact us or alternatively you can visit the Home Office guidance on English Language Requirement for Student Visa.

FAQ FOR POINTS BASED STUDENT ROUTE FOR COMING TO STUDY IN THE UK:

On 5th October 2020 the New Student Route for International Students opened. Likewise to non-EEA students, student visas will now be made accessible for the EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.

The Student Route and Child Student Route of the UK’s new Points Based Immigration System will replace current Tier 4 General Student and Tier 4 Child Student visas.

  1. HOW MANY POINTS ARE REQUIRED FOR STUDENT ROUTE VISA FOR THE UK?

70 points must be scored in total from the following:

  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) must meet all the following:       -50 points 
  • Course requirement
  • Approved qualification requirement
  • Level of study requirement
  • Place of study requirement
  • Financial Requirement or Maintenance Fund                                                      -10 points 
  • English Language requirement                                                                            -10 points

2. CAN I SWITCH INTO STUDENT ROUTE IF I AM ON A VISIT VISA IN THE UK?

If you are in the UK as a visitor, are a short-term Student, parent of a child student, seasonal worker, as a domestic worker in a private household, or have been granted permission outside the Immigration Rules then you will not be able to switch into a student category. 

3. CAN I STAY IN THE UK AFTER COMPLETION OF MY STUDIES TO GAIN EXPERIENCE?

A new Graduate Route Visa has been announced by the UK Government which will enable students to remain in the UK for an additional two years after completion of a Bachelor degree.  Students who have completed a PhD degree will be granted a Graduate Visa for three years.

For any other questions you may have concerning the UK Student Visa, please get in contact with us and we will be happy to assist. 

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