Thursday, July 29, 2010

UK Student visa changes balance language requirements

The student tier of the UK points-based visa system is undergoing key change that will mandate certain levels of  language study for applicants and visa holders.

The changes are being made to the student, or Tier 4 UK visa, requirements in an effort to clamp down on abuses of the system and enforce applicants to gain working proficiency in English.

From 23 July 2010, the minimum level of English language course that will be permitted under Tier 4 will be level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference.

This restores to its level prior to the Judicial Review ruling filed by English UK earlier this year. The ruling had led to a temporary suspension of UK visa applications from students in South Asia applying for a particular range of degree courses. The restoration of the level means that the people affected - largely from northern parts of India, Bangladesh and Nepal - are once again eligible to apply for student visas.

In another change, students who want to change their sponsor schools to one of the lesser A- or B-rated sponsors, will have to wait to begin their course of study until they have received an affirmative decision from UK immigration authorities.

This does not, however, affect students wishing to transfer to the top-rated Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) institutions, who will be able to transfer immediately.

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