UK visas for students have seen changes implemented from today (July 4th).
The news follows a consultation period regarding the UK immigration rules, during which ministers discussed the right to work and the specifics of Highly Trusted sponsors, among other issues.
UK visas for students under the Tier 4 points-based route have now been revised to restrict working entitlement to only those students sponsored by higher education institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further eduction colleges. Furthermore, paid employment will only be permitted on a part-time basis during term-time.
Meanwhile, sponsorship of dependants will be restricted to those students sponsored by HEIs on postgraduate courses lasting 12 months of longer and government-sponsored individuals on courses lasting for six months or longer.
Highly Trusted sponsors and their UK visa applicants from low-risk areas will benefit from a streamlined application process under the new rules, while all institutions will be required to confirm that any courses they offer represent the chance of genuine academic progression from any courses previously studied in the UK by the student.
It is hoped the the changes will deliver a "strong migration system which tackles immigration abuse while allowing genuine students to study at genuine colleges".