Next set of changes to student visa rules is announced.


The next set of changes to the Immigration Rules affecting Tier 4 – the student tier – of the points-based system has been laid in Parliament today. The changes will come into effect on 4 July 2011.
The Home Secretary announced changes to the Immigration Rules in a statement to Parliament on 22 March, following a major public consultation on reforming Tier 4. The first set of changes came into effect on 21 April.
The aim of the revised Immigration Rules is to deliver a strong migration system which tackles immigration abuse, while allowing genuine students to study at genuine colleges.
From 4 July we will:
restrict work entitlements to migrants studying at higher educational institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges only;
restrict the sponsorship of dependants to those studying at postgraduate level at HEIs on courses lasting at least 12 months, and government-sponsored students on courses lasting at least 6 months;
require education providers to vouch that a new course represents genuine academic progression;
ensure that maintenance funds are genuinely available to the applicant, by introducing a declaration on the visa application form;
commit to publish a list of financial institutions that we consider, on the basis of experience, do not verify financial statements to our satisfaction in more than 50 per cent of a sample of cases;
introduce a streamlined application process for low-risk nationals applying to attend courses with Highly Trusted Sponsors;
extend the list of courses for which students must receive ATAS clearance;
restrict the ability to deliver accountancy courses accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to those sponsors accorded platinum or gold status by ACCA; and
clarify the position of overseas universities with campuses in the UK.
These changes were announced by Immigration Minister Damian Green.
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