11 January 2018 - Immigration Changes
EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM TO THE STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN IMMIGRATION RULES PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT ON 7 DECEMBER 2017 (HC 309)
The changes came into force on 11 January 2018.
The changes of main interest to international students and their institutions are listed below.
Electronic entry clearance
- Electronic entry clearance is to be trialled with specific groups initially. The aim is to introduce it generally at a later date.
- This will affect the format of the issuing of Entry Clearance and also the documents
- That will be required to be presented to an immigration officer on arrival to the UK.
- Currently Entry Clearance is stamped in vignette format into the passport. This amendment to the immigration rules will allow Entry Clearance to be issued both as an endorsement in the passport and in an electronic form.
- Applicants holding Entry Clearance in electronic form will not be required to present evidence of their Entry Clearance on arrival to the UK as their Entry Clearance will be checked electronically by the Immigration Officer.
Short-Term Study (STS)
- The minimum age requirement is being reduced from 18 to 16, to enable those over 16 to apply for the longer English courses and to ensure that across the student visa categories the genuine student rule is consistently applied.
- More than one course of study can be undertaken on the STS route providing the courses are completed within the length of the visa granted.
- Students will be allowed to remain in the UK for up to 30 days on completion of their course.
- The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is being added to the list of bodies that can provide institutional inspections.
Tier 4 of the Points-Based System
- Part-time study at RQF level 7 or higher is being included within Tier 4. Tier 4 students studying part-time courses will not have work rights, will not be able to bring dependants and will not be able to extend in-country.
- The rules on academic progression are being updated to allow students to apply for leave to remain from within the UK to complete a work placement or a study abroad programme, or to complete their course, after having completed a work placement or study abroad programme.
Family members of Points-Based System migrants
- Migrant cannot rely on funds held in a parent's bank account unless that parent is either the main applicant or currently in the UK.
Tier 2 (General)
- Non PhD students will now be able to apply to switch into Tier 2 (General) on completion of their course, but before they have received their final results. This is providing all of the other requirements have been met. This new change should be approached with caution as it appears the guidance on the Resident Labour Market Test (RLTM)
has not yet been amended to be brought into line with the immigration rules. The guidance will be amended in due course but no date has been provided.
- Posts to be held by Researcher applicants who are in receipt of supernumerary research Awards and Fellowships, and established team members sponsored by either a Higher Education Institution or a Research Council are to exempted from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLTM)
- Nurses undertaking an approved programme with a view to returning to practice are to be allowed to be sponsored under Tier 2 (General).
Tier 5 of the Points-Based System
For further information please click on the following links:
Tier 4 Policy Guidance
PBS Dependants Guidance