News & Insights

The new student visa

Imelda Reddington considers changes to the Immigration Rules in connection with the new Student visa.

The New Immigration System comes into force on 1 January 2021.  Ahead of this launch, the Home Office is reviewing and simplifying many of the existing routes that transpose into the new system.  The first route to be changed is the Tier 4 student routes, which has had its guidance document reduced to 40% of the previous document.

On 10 September 2020, the Home Office announced a new student route to replace the Tier 4 Student and child routes which will close on 5 October 2020.

The Tier 4 Student routes are the first categories to be simplified because the new visa will be available for EEA nationals to apply to study in the UK from 1 January 2021.

Some of the key differences are:

  • EEA nationals will be subject to meet the same requirements as their Non-EEA national counterparts.
  • There will be more scope for switching within the study route and increased switching between the Points Based Immigration System. For example, students will be able to apply for a new student visa from the UK, if they meet the requirements and their new course commences within 28 days of the expiry of their current visa.
  • The 8-year time limit on studying courses at postgraduate level will no longer apply.
  • Applicants will no longer be required to meet the maintenance requirement on their current route to meet it again if they have been supporting themselves in the UK for more than a year.
  • Applicants will only be required to prove the required level of English language to the Home Office once.
  • Those who extend their visa in the UK, will no longer be required to provide evidence of maintenance funds if they have spent longer at least one year on their current visa.

These changes will have an impact on EEA nationals wanting to come to study in the UK – they will no longer be able to come to the UK on the basis of Freedom of Movement and will need to apply for visa before entering the UK.  In addition, sponsoring institutions will need to review their recruitment procedures to incorporate EEA students.

If you would like to know more about how these changes could affect you, please contact Imelda Reddington who would be pleased to assist [email protected].