The UK is home to many universities, colleges and schools and the UK Government welcomes foreign students who wish to study in the UK.
Those who have gained entry clearance and are currently residing in the UK for study purposes, will be required to extend their visa if the current one does not cover the length of the course or if a new course of study may be commenced.
On 6th April 2016 changes to the Immigration Rules affect Tier 4 students currently studying in the UK whereby a new application can only be submitted from within the UK if the Home Office ‘Academic Progression Requirements’ are satisfied namely:
- the applicant has successfully completed, and been awarded, the qualification they have been studying for when the Tier 4 Visa was granted AND
- the gap between the end date of the current visa and the start date of the new course of study is less than twenty eight days OR
- the applicant is a PHD student needing additional time to complete their course
If these criteria are not met, and additional time is needed to complete the course, a student will have to leave the UK and submit a new application from their Home Country.
There are time limits for studying in the UK under a Tier 4 General student visa:
- Foundation course – two years.
- Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees – five years.
- Some courses are exempt from the limit including, architecture, medicine, dentistry, medicine and science, conversion or professional law courses following a degree in the UK, or music at a Conservatoire.
Failure to apply before expiration of a current visa will result in a student becoming an overstayer, applications made from within the UK after fourteen days will result in an automatic refusal with the possibility of being barred from entering the UK for at least twelve months.
Requirements For Student Extension
Under a new points based system to extend a Tier 4 (General) visa, it will be necessary to obtain forty points apportioned as to:
- Thirty for Confirmation of Acceptance Studies (‘CAS’) and
- Ten points for course fees and living costs.
- a new CAS will be required from a University approved by UK Visas & Immigration recognised as Highly Trusted Status. Students will need to show they have appropriate English Language Skills.
- undertaking a course that is subject to an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (‘ATAS’) will require a new ATAS Certificate before a CAS can be issued. An ATAS certificate is usually issued for courses that lead to a qualification at Master’s, Doctorate or Postgraduate levels.
- proof of adequate funding to the required criteria.
- provision of professional translations of documents which are not in English
- production of all required original Certificates of Academic qualifications
- possession of a current valid passport
- production of any other passport or Visa previously granted
- production of Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
- provision of two passport size photographs
- attendance for a Tuberculosis Test if required
- payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge of £150.00 by those from outside the EU coming to live in the UK for over six months and which grants access to the National Health Service.
Making An Application
There are three available procedures:
- Standard Service – postal applications, this could take from 8/12 weeks to reach a decision
- Super Premium Service – subject to an extra payment
- Premium Service– in person at the Home Office
Passports have to be surrendered for the duration of an application and, accordingly, foreign travel will not be possible throughout that period.
A BRP will be issued to a successful applicant.
How Can We Help?
With the rising cost of the fees payable upon application, it is imperative that expert professional advice is sought before submitting any application to ensure that it is correctly prepared to avoid the forfeiture of fees which may arise due to error.
All applications must be made on the correct forms, which are very detailed, and accompanied by full supporting documentation.
Failure to submit a correct application could result in a Notice of Refusal being issued and the resultant serious consequences.
We have a proven track record of successfully advising and guiding clients through the immigration application and appeals process.
Who Can I Contact For Help?
Please feel free to contact our Immigration Team through the following who will be happy to speak to you and guide you:
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