T4 Visa Changes include scrapping of T1 PSW

The Government have announced that as part of their plans to reform the UK Immigration System they will be making it more difficult for International Students to come to the UK and cancelling the highly popular Tier 1 Post Study Worker route from April 2012. The measures to clamp down on Tier 4 of the points based system include; limits on the number of hours students can work, increased English Language requirements and restrictions on bringing dependents to the UK.

The main changes to the system include;

  • The closure of the Tier 1 Post Study Worker category from April 2012
  • A limit on the time that can be spent on a student visa:
    • Three years at lower levels
    • Five years at higher levels (with the exception of students studying for professional qualifications or a PhD)
  • Those graduating from a UK University with a PGCE, PGDE or recognised degree will be able to switch in country to a Tier 2 General visa (where they have secured employment with a Tier 2 Licensed organisation)
  • From April 2012 sponsors will need to hold ‘highly trusted sponsor’ status and will need to become accredited by a statutory education inspection body by the end of 2012
  • An upper intermediate level of English language ability (Level B2) will be required for those coming to study at degree level (rather than the current B1 requirement)
  • UK Border Agency staff may refuse entry to students who cannot speak English without an interpreter

The Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, said that “Students are not migrants. They come from all over the world to study here, contributing to the economy both through payment of fees and wider spending. Whilst we are right to seek to eliminate bogus colleges and bogus students, we need to ensure that we continue to attract the brightest and the best. The Government’s policy ought to be evidence-based. Generating policy based on flawed evidence could cripple the UK education sector. In the case of international students this could mean a significant revenue and reputational loss to the UK. We strongly urge the Government to examine the data which it currently uses to extrapolate migration figures and recognise that for any genuine student the doors to Britain’s fine education institutions are always open. If the door is shut they will simply study elsewhere.”

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.