The Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme is now officially up and running for Tier 4 of the Points Based System (PBS) after its introduction yesterday (6th April 2010). Under the new rules UK Academic Institutions will only be able to offer “Restricted Courses” to migrant students if they hold a Highly Trusted Sponsor License. Tier 4 Sponsors are now either considered to be Highly Trusted Sponsors, A-Rated License Holders or B-Rated License holders. (more…)Continue reading
The UK Border Agency has set out key dates relating to the launch of the new Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme for Tier 4 (Student) Licensed Organisations. Information on the launch of the Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme for Tier 2 (Work Permit) and Tier 5 employers will be released later in 2010. (more…)Continue reading
On the 6th April 2010 the UK Border Agency will launch its new Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme. Initially the scheme will be rolled out to Tier 4 Sponsors (Academic Institutions) however later in 2010 the scheme is expected to be expanded to include Tier 2 (Work Permit) and Tier 5 Sponsors. This Special Report will look at the key areas of the Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme. Later this year Commonwealth Contractors will produce further Special Reports on the Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme for Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsors. (more…)Continue reading
The UK Border Agency yesterday (22nd February 2010) implemented the final stage of Tier 4 (Student) of the Points Based Immigration System. The final stage of the implementation will see Visa Letters becoming obsolete and the introduction of mandatory reporting requirements for students who have been assigned a Confirmation of Acceptance. (more…)Continue reading
The UK Border Agency has announced that it will partially lift the suspension of Tier 4 (Student) of the Points Based System (PBS) at seven visa application centres in North India, Bangladesh & Nepal from the 1st March 2010 following investigations into whether certain applications were genuine. (more…)Continue reading
Tier 4 Student Rules will be tightened and the new measures for students include:
- A good standard of English (equivalent of holding just below a GCSE in a foreign language) will be needed to come to the UK and study to improve English language competency further
- A good standard of English (again equivalent of holding just below a GCSE in a foreign language) will need to be demonstrated in order to study any other course below degree level
- Restricting the lowest-level courses (A levels and equivalent) to only the most trusted institutions
- Halving the amount of time a student studying below first degree level or on a foundation degree course will be able to work, to just 10 hours during term time
- A ban on bringing in dependants for anyone studying a course for less than six months
- A ban on dependants of anyone studying a course lower than foundation or undergraduate degree level from working – they will face removal from the UK if found doing so
- A ban on foreign students studying below degree level if the course includes a work placement – unless that course is being provided by a university, college or training provider which has the status of \’highly trusted sponsor\’
- A requirement for students to demonstrate their English language ability by passing an approved secure test – this will apply to all students studying below (foundation) degree level, including those coming to study English language
- The introduction of tougher criteria for defining which course providers count as \’highly trusted sponsors\’ of foreign students. All publicly funded universities and colleges will count as highly trusted, and we will ensure that there is a rapid but rigorous system for ensuring that private training colleges can also gain that status as soon as possible
In making the announcement the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said “The points-based system was introduced to provide a rigorous system to manage legitimate access to the UK to work and study, with the ability to respond to changing circumstances. We want foreign students to come here to study, not to work illegally, and today we have set out necessary steps which will maintain the robustness of the system we introduced last year. I make no apologies for that.”
At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).
For more information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get back to you.Continue reading
Tier 4 (Student) Rules March 2010
Tough changes relating to Tier 4 (Student) Rules relating to the Points Based System are to be introduced on the 3rd March 2010 the Home Secretary has announced. Under the new rules the number of hours an overseas student will be allowed to work in term time will be cut from 20 hours per week to just 10 hours per week. The announcement follows a three month review of the system following allegations of misuse.
The UK Border Agency has announced that Tier 4 (Student) of the Points Based System (PBS) has been suspended in seven visa application centres in North India, Bangladesh and Nepal while investigations are made into whether certain applications are genuine. The centres will not accept any new applications under Tier 4 Student from the 1st February 2010. In the final 3 months of 2009 the three Indian Visa Processing Centres alone dealt with 12,320 Tier 4 Applications. (more…)Continue reading
The changes to Tier 4 student visa from the 22nd February 2010 means that students applying for one will be refused if they apply with an obsolete Visa Letter rather than a Confirmation of Acceptance. Those Students planning on applying after the 22nd February who already hold a Visa Letter must also secure a CAS if they wish to gain a successful approval. Any issues in the application may cause length delays Visa Processing Statistics for Information on current Out of Country Processing Times).
Mandatory Reporting Requirements
The changes to Tier 4 will mean greater responsibility of Academic Institutions and greater administration. From the 22nd February it will be mandatory for a Tier 4 sponsor to comply with the reporting requirements of Tier 4, such as those detailed below. Tier 4 Sponsors must report the following information to the UK Border Agency within the required timeframe and using the Sponsor Management System:
- If a Student does not enrol on their course at the expected time the Tier 4 Sponsor must inform the UK Border Agency within 10 working days. A reason for the Student’s non attendance must be provided
- If the Student misses 10 ‘expected contacts’ on their course of study without the Academic Institutions permission the UKBA must be informed within:
- 10 working days of the 10th day of absence, OR
- 10 working days of the 10th missed contact
- If the Student stops their studies the Sponsor must inform the UKBA within 10 working days of the event and provide the name and address of the new Academic Institution if known
- If the Academic Institution stops sponsoring the Student for any reason the UKBA must be informed within 10 working days
- If their are any significant changes to the Students circumstances (e.g. the length of course) the UKBA must be informed within 10 working days
Closure of 140 Colleges
On a separate note, the Implementation of Tier 4 of the Points Based System has led to the closure of 140 Colleges, that was the news yesterday from Lord West of Spitfiled who said that ‘In the last six months we have carried out around 600 Inspections, suspending 140 and revoking 15 Tier 4 Licenses’.
Tier 4 was implemented in March of 2009. Since this time Academic Institutions have had to apply for a Tier 4 Sponsorship License in order to ‘sponsor’ students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get back to you.Continue reading
From the 22nd February 2010 new responsibilities and procedures will be implemented for Tier 4 Sponsors (Academic Institutions) when Phase 4 Implementation of Tier 4 Student begins. From this date Sponsors will be required to issue Confirmations of Acceptance for studies (CAS) to all students whether they apply from inside or outside of the United Kingdom. At present Tier 4 Sponsors can issue”Visa Letters” rather than CAS Certificates and are not required to comply with the reporting requirements of Tier 4 (see below). A Confirmation of Acceptance is a 10 digit reference number which corresponds to a database record in the UK Border Agency’s Sponsor Management System. (more…)Continue reading