Svetlova LLP

Student Route to replace Tier 4 Student visa

September 14th, 2020

Yesterday, the Home Office announced its plans to close the Tier 4 Student route and replace it with the ‘Child Student’ and ‘Student’ routes.

The changes are being introduced to give effect to the Government’s plan to create a global visa system which applies equally to all individuals coming to the UK to work or study, including EEA nationals. Tier 4 is the first route to be simplified and streamlined.

Student Route will replace the current Tier 4 visa in the new UK’s Points-Based Immigration System on at 9:00 am (British Time) on 5 October 2020.

It will affect Student and Student dependant applications made on or after then, regardless of the date on which a CAS was assigned. Applicants who have a valid CAS issued before 5 October at 9:00 under the Tier 4 route will be able to use it for an application under the Student route.

The Student and Child Student routes will apply to both EEA nationals (as of 1 January 2021) and non-EEA nationals.

What is new?

  1. EEA nationals will be incorporated into a global application system. EEA nationals will be required to meet the same requirements to study within the UK as non-EEA nationals and will need to apply under the Student rules;
  2. Students at higher education providers with a track record of compliance will not routinely be required to provide evidence of academic qualifications used to obtain the offer of sponsorship;
  3. The eight-year time limiton studying courses at postgraduate level has been removed. There is no longer a limit on the time that an individual can spend studying postgraduate courses;
  4. There are increased switching permissions within the study route and increased switching between routes within the Points Based Immigration System. Students will be able to apply for further permission from within the UK, provided they meet the Academic Progression requirement and the new course of study commences within 28 days of the expiry of the current leave;
  5. New Rules on English Language and Finance:
  • Applicants will only be required to prove the required level of English Language once;
  • The Majority English Language country list will also include Malta and Ireland;
  • Applicants who have gained GCSE/A Level or Scottish Highers in English while at school in the UK can rely on this to prove their English Language;
  • Maintenance – applicants will no longer be required to meet the maintenance requirement for an extension of their leave if they have been supporting themselves in the UK for more than one year;
  • Applicants will be able to rely on electronic bank statements and they will be able to meet the maintenance requirements by relying on a wider range of accounts; and
  • EEA nationals will be added to the list of those not required to provide documentation to show maintenance from the outset.

A student will be required to meet a minimum of 70 points in order to be awarded Student/Student Child status, i.e.

  • Sponsorship – 50 points;
  • Financial Requirement – 10 points;
  • English Language – 10 points.