News and communications from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

08 December 2019

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Tier 4 (General)

Tier 4 (General)

The necessary points for attributes are awarded to applicants seeking entry clearance on the basis of their "Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies" which is issued by the applicant's sponsoring education provider.

From 13 December 2012 the UK Border Agency are relaxing conditions restricting employment.  Tier 4 (General) students will be able to work as a doctor or dentist in training as soon as they have submitted an application in which they are sponsored to do a recognised NHS Foundation Programme while they are waiting for that application to be decided.  This will avoid potential delays for medical degree students in beginning the next stage of their training.  The current rules also prevent Tier 4 (General) students from working in self-employment.  The new changes will allow students who have been endorsed by their institution for the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category to work in self-employment when they have submitted their Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) application and why they are waiting for it to be decided.

From 6th April 2012 there is now a general limit of 5 years on study-time at NQF6/QCF6 and SCQF9 and above although this does not apply to those studying for Master’s degrees at Higher Education Institutions (“HEI”) following completion of a successful undergraduate degree where the course duration was 4 or 5 years.  For these students, the limit will be set at 6 years in total.

For those studying PhD at an HEI if he time spent in Tier 4 (General) exceeds 8 years, no further leave will be granted in Tier 4.

There are stringent requirements to obtain the necessary points for maintenance under Appendix C, particularly if the student's course of study is in inner London.

Entry clearance is issued to applicants in the Tier 4 (General) student subcategory for the duration of the course, with a flexible period of additional leave for the period before the course. It is open to Tier 4 (General) Students to apply for further leave to remain in the UK, but by changes in the Immigration Rules (HC 1888) which are operational from 6 April 2012 the maximum amount of time for which a person may spend studying at degree level as a Tier 4 (General) Migrant has been fixed at five years (with some minor exceptions).

There is an English language requirement for pre-sessional courses.  A B1 with a SELT certificate from a body approved by the UK Border Agency is required for study below degree level (NQF6) and B2 with a SELT at degree level and above.  For those study at an HEI, the HEI may make its own assessment of B2 competency rather than relying on a SELT.  Those studying English language must have B1 level, with a SELT certificate.  B1 and B2 standard must be attained in all the component elements of the test (reading, writing, speaking and listening).