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24 Mar 2015

Updated Tier 4 sponsor guidance

UKVI has changed the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance. Also see updates on UK immigration, NHS surcharge, biometric residents permits and SELT providers.

Updated Tier 4 sponsor guidance

UKVI has updated the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance. The changes include clarification as to the ways in which a sponsor licence can be structured, particularly in relation to sites and teaching partnerships; guidance on the sanctions where there is considered to be non-compliance relating to partnership arrangements; and the discretionary assessments that will be apply to independent schools when renewing their HTS. Page 29 of Document 1 sets out the transitional arrangements for existing sponsors. This includes confirmation that by “mid-April 2015, all Tier 4 sponsors will be issued with a ‘Sites and Partnerships form’. They must complete this and return it to UKVI by Friday 15th May 2015. The completed form will provide information on the sponsor’s sites (in accordance with Table 1), proposed exceptional arrangements (in accordance with Table 2) and teaching partnerships (in accordance with Table 3); and demonstrate that it complies with the conditions outlined in this section, or set out how it will demonstrate it does so.” The guidance goes onto confirm that “this exercise is to ensure that existing sponsors’ sites, exceptional arrangements and teaching partnerships are recorded consistently and in accordance with the new guidance, and that HEIs’ sites comply with the requirements set out in Table 1. It is also an opportunity to ask for CAS to be reallocated to a teaching partner in order to comply with the requirements of Table 3. Sponsors who do not provide a satisfactorily completed form may have their CAS allocation set to zero until they do so.”

Changes to the UK immigration visitors’ category

The Home Office has simplified the visitor rules which will come into effect from 24 April 2015. The previous 15 visitor categories have now been condensed into just four categories: visitor (General), visitor for marriage or civil partnership, visitor for permitted paid engagements and transit visitor. The student visitor category has been incorporated into a new short term study category which takes it outside of the visitor rules. The ‘parent of a child at school’ category has been rebranded as ‘parent of a Tier 4 (Child) student’ and again taken outside of the visitor rules. The student visitor category has been incorporated into a new short term study category which takes it outside of the visitor rules. The ‘parent of a child at school’ category has been rebranded as ‘parent of a Tier 4 (Child) student’ and again taken outside of the visitor rules.

NHS surcharge

UKVI has announced that the immigration health surcharge will be introduced on 6 April 2015. The health surcharge means that temporary, non-EEA migrants coming to the UK for more than six months will contribute to the NHS. The surcharge will be set at £200 a year for temporary migrants and £150 a year for students. The Home Office and UKVI have produced information for temporary migrants and students.

Biometric residence permits

The Home Office has published Guidance Notes and an FAQ document, which provide information on the roll out of Biometric Residence Permits. ISC continues to work with the Home Office on finding alternative ways in which to maintain security but not make the collection of BRPs impossibly difficult for independent schools.

Secured English language test providers

From 6 April 2015 applicants that are required to sit a Secure English Language Test (SELT) as part of their UK immigration application will need to make sure that they only use one of the providers on the new approved SELT list. At present only two SELT providers are acceptable for immigration application purposes and the number of approved test centres will be dramatically reduced. For individuals who have taken a SELT before 6 April 2015, the transitional SELT list can be relied on, providing the immigration application is submitted on or before 5 November 2015. As this will not impact pupils applying as a Tier 4 Child or those progressing from a Tier 4 Child visa to a Tier 4 General visa, it is likely that only a small number of ISC schools will be affected. ISC is lobbying with rest of education sector against the dramatic reduction in the number of test centres both in the UK and abroad.

2 Dec 2016 Tier 4

Tier 4 - update December 2016

Tier 4 sponsor duty to verify identity of every pupil, The GREAT Britain campaign

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4 Nov 2016 Tier 4

Tier 4 - update November 2016

Tier 4 sponsor obligations, UKVI and Home Office

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6 Oct 2016 Tier 4

Tier 4 - update October 2016

Tier 4 sponsor obligations, Police Registration of Tier 4 applicants (over 16 years old)

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17 Aug 2016 Tier 4

Alternative collection locations for Biometric Residence Permits (BRP’s)

The Home Office has issued revised guidance for collection of BRP’s for overseas pupils.

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17 Aug 2016 Tier 4

Tier 4 sponsors

Please may we stress the real importance of complying with all the duties associated with being a Tier 4 sponsor.

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29 May 2015

Biometric Residence Permits for Overseas Applicants

Home Office document on alternatives to customer collection at post office.

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1 Mar 2015

Biometric Residence Permits Frequently Asked Questions

Home Office document on Biometric Residence Permits Frequently Asked Questions.

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1 Mar 2015

Biometric Residence Permits Guidance Notes

Home Office document on Biometric Residence Permits Guidance Notes.

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1 May 2015

Sites and Teaching Partnerships Frequently Asked Questions

UK Visas & Immigration document on Sites and Teaching Partnerships Frequently Asked Questions.

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1 Apr 2015

Tier 4 of the Points Based System: Guidance for Sponsors

Home Office document on Guidance for Sponsors.

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