Student UK visa rules set to change

13 Jun 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The next set of changes to UK visas for students are due to come into effect on July 4th.

Parliament received the details of the UK visa changes today (June 13th), following the home secretary's announcement in March that the UK immigration rules were to be altered.

Among the changes to affect students are restrictions on work entitlements, allowing only migrants in higher educational institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges to access employment.

In addition, the sponsorship of dependants will be restricted to those studying at postgraduate level at HEIs on courses that last at least 12 months or government-sponsored students on courses that last at least six months.

Maintenance funds will be checked to ensure they are genuinely available through the introduction of a declaration on the UK visa application form and a streamlined application process for low-risk nationals will be introduced for those applying to attend courses with Highly Trusted Sponsors.

The changes to the UK immigration rules are designed to deliver "a strong migration system which tackles immigration abuse, while allowing genuine students to study at genuine colleges", the UK Border Agency clarified.

Immigration minister Damian Green announced the adaptations in a written ministerial statement today, along with a number of minor changes to clarify sections of Tier 2 work permit applications.