The Tier 4 Visa is for students wishing to study in the UK for more than 6 months. You will need to be sponsored by a licensed UK university or place of higher education in order to score sufficient points. You will also need to prove that you are able to maintain yourself without recourse to public funds.
All institutions must now be or work towards a Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) licence, this is to ensure all education providers take there immigration obligations seriously and maintain high rate competence. Those who apply for a Tier 4 sponsor will be initially given a ‘A rated’ sponsor license which must then be transferred to a HTS within 12 months of issue provided they meet the requirements.
Students are permitted to work part-time (for up to 20 hours per week), in term time and full-time during the holidays.
Your sponsor will issue you with a confirmation of acceptance (CAS) which is used to gain your necessary 40 points. Points are awarded as follows:
Certificate of acceptance for studies – 30 points – this must be valid, assigned no more the 6 months prior to the application and cannot be used more than once.
Maintenance – 10 points (enough money for your course fees and monthly living expenses. Up to £9,000.00 for a maximum of 9 months and you are London based and do not have established present (i.e. have not studied a course in the UK before). If you do have established presence then the amount required is £1000 for 2x months. The amount is variable depending on the length of the course and whether you will be based inside or outside of London). All students must prove that they have the English language ability, those studying above NQF level 6 must show that they have passed the CEFR B2 and those below NQF level 6 must meet the B1 requirement. A Tier 4 student must be doing a full time course. The course that you will be undertaking with your HTS must be a minimum NQF Level 3 or above, accredited at Level 6 or above, short term study abroad programme in the UK provided it is a minimum degree level course and an English language course at level B2 or above the CEFR. (Sponsor can provide work placements) The course that you will be undertaking with your A or B rated sponsor must be a minimum NQF Level 4 or above, accredited at Level 7 or above, short term study abroad programme in the UK provided it is a minimum degree level course and an English language course at level B2 or above the CEFR. (Sponsor cannot provide work placements for below degree level courses). You will need these points to pass the points based assessment and be able to apply. Visas are issued for up to 4 years depending on the length of your course of study. If your course will be for longer than 4 years an extension will be required.
As a general student you will be allowed to bring your dependants. Any adult dependants will be permitted to work whilst in the UK, as long as your permission to stay is for more than 12 months. You must show that you are able to support your dependants by having £533.00 (London based) or £400.00 (Based outside London) per month, for each dependant, for up to 12 months.