New rules for UK Tier 4 and Tier 1 visas for students

As previously reported, the Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa route will come to an end on 6th April 2012. On this visa, students are able to work in the UK for up to 2 years after they graduate. Following this closure, the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa will be in its place, however, a lot of people will not actually be able to qualify for it.

The new policy also requires graduates applying for a Tier 2 (General) visa, to have an offer of employment for a skilled job, with a salary of at least £20,000 (more in some cases), from a reputable employer certified by the UK Border Agency, as a means to continue to live and work in the UK.

Other changes will include:
• The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa route, with up to 1000 places for students working on innovative ideas wishing to stay in the UK in order to develop them, but who do not meet the requirements of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route. Graduates under this route will be granted stay in the UK if they can invest £50,000 in their business and switch to the new Tier 1 Entrepreneur route.
• Plans to increase the amount of funds that students and working immigrants and their dependants have to prove they have enough to support themselves financially whilst living in the UK, will be introduced.
• International students studying below degree level on a Tier 4 Student visa will have their work placement time restricted to one-third of the course time. However, the rules will remain the same for students studying at degree level or above. Students at this level will be able to spend up to half their time at a work placement, provided that at least the other half comprises of formal studies.
• Restrictions will incur to time spent studying at degree level for students on a Tier 4 Student visa, to a limit of 5 years.

A statement from Green reads:

“It is vital that we continue to attract the brightest and the best international students, but we have to be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay. With the introduction of the Graduate Entrepreneur route and the restrictions on student work, we are reforming the system to deliver immigration to benefit Britain.”
Furthermore, UK immigration have announced plans to establish further changes to current standard UK immigration regulations for permanent residents, overseas domestic workers and Tier 2 and 5 of the points based system. Additional announcements for these changes which have been planned for an April 2012 introduction are to be made within the upcoming weeks.

Commonwealth Contractors

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). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.
For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.