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.
Since the 1st February 2010 Tier 4 Student has been suspended at the following visa application centres:
- North India: New Delhi, Jalandhar, Chandigarh
- Bangladesh: Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong
- Nepal: Katmandu,
The suspension has affected thousands of genuine students wishing to study a higher education course at a UK Academic Institution. In the final three months of 2009 the three Indian Visa Processing Centres alone dealt with 12,320 Tier 4 Student Visa Applications.
The Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, Pat McFadden said that “The suspension was taken in response to a huge surge in applications over a very short period of time. I am delighted to be able to announce today that, from 1st March 2010, this suspension will be lifted for all students wanting to study higher education courses, whether foundation degrees, undergraduate or postgraduate.”
However the suspension has not been completely lifted, with applications for Tier 4 Student Visas at a level lower that undergraduate still not being accepted. On the partial suspension Mr McFadden said “we will continue to keep this under review and will lift it as soon as we can, and once the new ‘highly trusted sponsor’ system for colleges and other educational establishments across the UK is in place.”
UK Universities and the Economy
UK Academic Institutions in particular will be relieved to hear that the suspension will be lifted. Many Universities rely on higher fee paying International Students who often account for a large proportion of University revenue (resident nationals normally pay significantly less that foreign students and tuition fees are often subsidised by the government depending upon the students individual financial circumstances).
It has been estimated that International Students as a whole bring in around £8.5 billion pounds worth of income for the UK economy each year. With many Universities feeling the pinch in the wake of the economic slowdown fees from international students have been highly sought after, which is why many Institutions breathed a sigh of relief when the recent changes to Tier 4 were less severe than expected. From the 3rd March 2010 new rules will be introduced that will tighten Tier 4 of the points based system with changes including a restriction on student work during term time to 10 hours per week (from 20 hours per week).
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 0330 390 9021 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please send a copy of your current CV if available.