The Podiyan

Monday, July 19, 2010

UK Student Visa: New Rules - Effective February 22, 2010

Students and education providers beware: new UK student visa rules will apply starting Monday February 22, 2010.  The new rules, introduced under Tier 4 of the points-based system, mean UK student visa applicants will soon have to obtain a confirmation of acceptance for studies from their prospective sponsor, rather than a visa letter.

After February 22, the UK Border Agency will ignore applications from students who send visa letters - even if an education provider issues a letter before February 22.  Until February 21, however, students can continue to apply under Tier 4 using a visa letter, even if their course of study will start after February 22.

Information for education providers / sponsors:

As stated above, the UK Border Agency will no longer accept visa letters after February 22. 

Moreover, Tier 4 sponsors will need to use the UK Border Agency's sponsorship management system to issue confirmations of acceptance for studies to all potential students after February 22.

The sponsorship management system is a secure IT system, which enables licensed sponsors to bring students to the UK and manage their stay here.

For example, the system will allow sponsors to send a 'sponsor note' to the UK Border Agency to inform them about minor changes to a certificate of sponsorship or a confirmation of acceptance for studies before the overseas student uses it.

---UK immigration Laws - additional information & advice---

Learn more about UK immigration laws - including the points-based system, identity cards for foreign nationals, and UK student visa rules - on FindLaw.  Alternatively, you may prefer to speak with an immigration law solicitor.  You can find a solicitor in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.

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